December 11, 2013
Blowin' in the wind
Philippines spots new typhoon after 19th howler
MANILA, Philippines — A typhoon (1) blew out of the northern Philippines on Sunday after leaving 13 people dead, but officials remained on alert after another howler (2) was spotted in the Pacific.
Typhoon Nari also flooded farmlands and destroyed thousands of houses in provinces north of Manila before blowing away into the South China Sea. Chinese authorities said about 27,000 fishing boats had been called back to port (3) yesterday, and heavy rains associated with the storm are expected to hit parts of southern China today.
In San Miguel town in the Philippines’ Bulacan province, the sun shone on villages where floodwaters that reached up to roof-level had receded (4), allowing residents to return from emergency shelters to clean up, wash muddied belongings and repair damaged houses.
Eduardo del Rosario, who heads the government’s disaster-response agency, said police officers, military personnel and local officials would remain on alert after forecasters (5) spotted (6) another typhoon, named Wipha, more than 1,300 kilometers east of the northern Philippines.
Government forecasters said the new typhoon would likely spare the country if it does not veer (7) away from its current course.
Nari was the 19th of more than 20 storms expected to batter the Philippines this year.
A typhoon is a tropical storm (technically, a tropical cyclone) in the region of the Indian or western Pacific oceans. The same phenomenon in the northeast Pacific and northeast Atlantic regions is called a hurricane. Typhoons usually strike the Philippines, China and Japan.
A Hybrid Howler is a low pressure area with some tropical characteristics. Some people call them "vorticanes." Besides this obscure weather definition, a howler is also an obvious, ridiculous error – and, in the world of Harry Potter, a very special kind of letter!
Call back (3)
When ships are called back to port, they are ordered to return. In everyday contexts, you call back someone when you return their telephone call.
To recede means to move gradually away from someone, or to become weaker or smaller. An unrelated but frequent use is “receding hairline”, which describes a man whose hair has stopped growing at the front of the head and who is going bald.
To forecast is to make a prediction or statement about something that is going to happen in the future. A forecaster is usually a weather expert on the media, but “forecast” can be used in many other contexts too (sports, business, etc.).
To spot (6)
To spot something means to see or notice it, especially when the thing you see is not easy to find and requires some effort/concentration (e.g., you spot an error in a piece of writing).
To veer (7)
To veer means to change direction suddenly.
Walks like a duck, talks like a duck – not a duck!
In today's article, we read about a typhoons that “blew out of the northern Philippines” and is “blowing away into the South China Sea” if it does not “veer away from its current course.” In these three statements, a verb is followed by a preposition – so it must be a phrasal verb, right? Wrong!
These three are prepositional verbs, What's the difference? Compare “blow up” and “blow out of...”. The first verb means “explode”, and the adverbial particle “up” changes the meaning of the verb “blow” completely: this is a perfect example of a phrasal verb. In the examples at the beginning of this note, the prepositions simply indicate the direction in which the storm blew/veered, without changing the verb.
English uses prepositions (or words that look and feel like prepositions) much more than Spanish, so it is a good idea to pay attention and know the difference!