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《经济学人》:灾难来袭日本,大自然的报复

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Japan's catastrophes 灾难来袭日本 Nature strikes back大自然的报复

Can fragile Japan endure this hydra-headed disaster?脆弱的日本能否抵御多重灾难的冲击?

UP A shallow river, five kilometres from the Pacific coast in Japan’s north-eastern Iwate prefecture, lie the remains of a town. Crushed wooden houses now resemble matchwood, scattered in every direction over swampy wasteland. A purple car is partially submerged in mud. The piles of debris reach two metres high.

在日本东北部的岩手县,太平洋沿岸五公里处一条小河的上游保留着一座小城的遗址。泥泞的土地上,被毁坏的木制房屋像火柴棍一样零星地散落在各方。一辆紫色的汽车半掩在淤泥中,废墟堆了足有两米高。

Only on close inspection do you see that it was never a town at all—at least not there. It was a rice paddy. The houses, shops, cars and people belonged lower down the valley. But the town is gone, washed away. Its debris settled on the field, high up the valley, that was the tsunami’s high-water mark. That is all that physically remains of Rikuzentakata.

如果走近观察,你会发现这根本不是一座小城,至少不是这里的小城,这儿是一片水稻田。这里的房屋,商店,汽车和人本来属于下游的小镇。如今他却被海啸冲走,不复存在。废墟散布在地上,提升了地势,这就是海啸水墙过后留下的痕迹。这些就是陆前高田市仅存的残骸。

Rikuzentakata, a former whaling town, once held 23,000 people. Several hundred are confirmed dead, but at mid-week perhaps thousands more were still missing. All tried to flee, as they were trained to do, when the tsunami warnings sounded in mid-afternoon. But this was a town of old people, as fishing villages here invariably are. Many just could not make it. Their fate was shared by perhaps tens of thousands of people living in ports, coastal towns and tiny cove communities across the north-east. Some, though, were spared. Above a washed-away hamlet clay-tiled homes are still standing, and a garden with tenderly coiffed trees. Even higher up is a small cemetery.

陆前高田市是一个以捕鲸业为主的小镇,这里曾经居住着23000名居民。如今已有几百人被证实死亡,但到本周中旬可能仍会有数千人下落不明,而且这一数字在不断增长。下午海啸警报响起的时候,人们纷纷逃难,就像平时训练的一样。但是和其他渔村一样,这里的居民以老年人居多,他们中的许多对逃生就有些力不从心了。不仅这里的居民,东北部港口,沿海城镇和小海湾社区中的居民也经历了这一切,虽然他们中的一些死里逃生。在一座被海啸冲刷过的小村庄里,一间瓦房仍然矗立在原地,旁边的公园里还有仔细修剪过的树木。然而在更高的地方却是一小片墓地。

Japan, which shows its love of nature in its reverence for trees and seasons, also knows the awesome power of the physical world—and fears it. Its orderly and law-abiding people know they live on one of the most geologically violent archipelagoes on the planet. The earthquake that struck on the afternoon of March 11th had a magnitude of 9.0, the biggest in Japan’s recorded history. It was so strong that, even in Tokyo’s shock-absorbing skyscrapers, office workers cowered beneath their desks and then raced out into the street, only to be hit again by the whump of aftershocks.

日本人崇敬树木和季节,这显示了他们对自然地热爱。他们同样也了解自然的可怕之处并对其报以敬畏之心。日本人井井有条,遵纪守法,他们知道自己居住在世界上地质运动最为活跃的群岛之一。3月11日下午发生的大地震达到了里氏9.0级,这是日本有史以来最强的一次地震。这次地震威力无比,东京的摩天大楼虽然有减震设计,但是在其中工作的人们还是不得不躲到桌子下面,并在安全的时候快速冲出了大楼。然而等着他们的又是一波余震。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
feeble [fi:bl]

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adj. 虚弱的,无力的

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additional [ə'diʃənl]

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adj. 附加的,另外的

 
impact ['impækt,im'pækt]

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n. 冲击(力), 冲突,影响(力)
vt.

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resemble [ri'zembl]

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vt. 相似,类似,像

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announced [ə'naunst]

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宣布的

 
enlightened [in'laitnd]

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adj. 被启发的,进步的,文明的 动词enlighte

 
frequent ['fri:kwənt]

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adj. 经常的,频繁的
vt. 常到,常去

 
zeal [zi:l]

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n. 热情,热忱

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stalwart ['stɔ:lwət]

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n. 顽强的人,健壮的人 adj. 高大结实的,顽强的

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construction [kən'strʌkʃən]

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n. 建设,建造,结构,构造,建筑物

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