Geography in the news

Up to the minute teaching ideas and activities to keep your lessons up to date and cutting edge!

See below for teaching activities based around current news stories, videos or articles.

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Wednesday 20th August 2014


Japan | Landslide | Cause | Effect | Response

Read the Hiroshima landslide article from the BBC website.

Teaching ideas

  • Ask the students to produce ten words/phrases to describe the scene shown in one of the three photographs in this BBC website news report.
  • Provide students with a copy of the article and three different coloured highlighting pens.  Ask them to colour code the causes of, effects of, and responses to the landslide in Hiroshima, Japan.
    • Causes
    • Much of central and southern Japan is mountainous, with many homes nestled into steep slopes.  The area affected was at the base of the mountain slopes.  The multiple landslides were triggered after thunderstorms delivered the equivalent of a month's rain fell in 24 hours with up to 240 mm in just three hours.
    • Effects
    • There are 27 deaths currently - the video clip reports 18 deaths with 13 still missing but the news article  reports that the death toll is 27 with 10 others still missing.  Several of those killed were children. 
    • Additional detail - The BBC reported 39 deaths in an image rich news report on August 21st.
    • Some houses were buried in mud and rocks.  Other houses were flooded by the torrential rainwater.  Cars and vans were swept some distance away.
    • Responses
    • Some residents escaped by car but others were forced to take shelter on rooftops.  Rescue teams employed helicopters to winch them to safety.  Other rescue personnel are looking for survivors on the ground.  The prime minister has asked local officials to "raise the number of [military] personnel to several hundred in order to strengthen rescue operations".
  • Compare this LEDC landslide with either the loss of the Holbeck Hotel landslide in Scarborough in 1993 or the Malin landslide in India in July 2014.


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