It was the eve of Christmas in 1974. The weather forecast (1) ___________ the people living in the coastal resort of Koh Samui in Thailand of an approaching tropical storm. Many did not (2) ____________ the warning because they were in a festive mood. Their merrymaking soon turned to grief.
Packing wind speeds of up to 230 km per hour, the storm slammed (3) ___________ Koh Samui in the early hours of Christmas Day. The entire town was (4) ___________ . In less than three hours. Collapsed (5) __________ overturned vehicles and fallen trees dominated the landscape. The calamity (6) __________ the lives of 623 people, including tourists from Europe and North America. About 3000 were injured while more than 60 were reported missing.
Efforts to help the (7) __________ started soon after the storm. Priority was given to (8) ___________ them with food, water, medicine and clothing. At the same time, the homeless were (9) ___________ to temporary shelters set up by the Thai military. Widespread flooding, however, made rescue operations very difficult and risky as many roads were submerged in (10)__________ . Boats and helicopters were deployed from the (11) ___________ areas of Koh Samui to solve the problem quickly.
Koh Samui took almost a year to (12) ____________ from the effects of the tropical storm. It gradually developed into one of the most (13) __________ tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. But catastrophe struck again on 26 December 2004. On that fateful day, a (14) ___________ powerful-earthquake rocked the seabed off the coast of Sumatra. Its massive strength astonished scientists and geologists (15) ___________ the world. The gigantic tidal wave, or tsunami, that resulted from the earthquake imp'acted Koh Samui and many other places.