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How would you normally let someone know that a flood or an earthquak has happened in a specific place? I was wondering if you let me know which choice would work better in the blank below:

a) Hey, did you hear the news last night?
b) How come?
a) ...........................................

  • 1) A flood / an earthquake has occurred in... (the place name) (to me, it sound as a formal case which using it would sound odd in daily dialogues)
  • 2) A flood / an earthquake has happened in... (the place name) (to me, it sounds a formal choice for everyday conversations, but it can be considered as a reserved choice for a polite case)
  • 3) There was a flood / an earthquake in... (the most natural choice in my opinion, but I'm not sure )
  • 5) A flood / an earthquake hit... (I surmise it would be too formal for everyday speech)

I'm looking for a structure that can be used to informing someone about such natural disater in plain language.

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The problem with the question is that there are no "magic words" for this situation. All of your suggestions are possible, and you are right that "There was..." is simple and correct. 1 and 2 sound like a newsreader, not conversation.

Using "hit" is fairly informal, and you can use a passive if you want to make the location the subject "Tokyo was hit by .." You could do this if you want to talk about "Tokyo" instead of about "Earthquakes".

Perhaps more likely would be

Did you hear about the Earthquake in .... last night?

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