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《经济学人》:西海岸担心地震影响

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Earthquake fears on the west coast西海岸担心地震影响 Fingers crossed老天保佑

A row over a rickety viaduct一场关于山区高速路的争吵

AFTERSHOCKS from Japan rattled America's west coast last week, as consumers in California rushed to buy iodine tablets they do not need and politicians in Seattle bickered about a quake-damaged highway many want to demolish.

上周,日本地震的后续灾变震动了美国西海岸地区,加州消费者疯狂购买并非急需的碘片。西雅图的官员为地震受损的高速公路争吵,其中大部分需要拆除。

Scientists say there is no chance that dangerous radiation will cross the Pacific. So the run on potassium iodide pills, which can block the absorption of radioactive iodine, made little sense. Californian health authorities warned residents not to compound their anxiety by eating the pills, which can cause intestinal distress and severe rashes.

专家指出,危害性放射物质不会横跨太平洋,从而影响西岸地区。因此疯购碘片并认为其能减少辐射伤害的想法是错误的。加州卫生部告知居民,不要因为恐惧胡乱食用碘片,否者易患肠道疾病和严重皮疹。

In Seattle, meanwhile, the Japanese quake reminded residents that the Pacific north-west is primed for a comparable catastrophe-and is far less prepared than Japan to cope with it. The Cascadia subduction zone, just 50 miles off the coast and stretching from northern California to southern British Columbia, is accumulating stresses that could unleash an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 and generate its own tsunami. The last 'big one'off the coast of Oregon and Washington is believed to have occurred in 1700, and some recent studies suggest that the chance of another occurring within the next 50 years is about one in three.

同时,日本地震令美国西北部,太平洋沿岸的西雅图居民,准备迎接一场大灾难的到来,他们的准备活动可并不比日本差。距离海岸50英里的卡斯卡地亚俯冲带,从加州北部延伸至英属哥伦比亚南部,预计可以缓冲9级地震及其造成的海啸。俄勒冈州和华盛顿州海岸,最近的一次大地震发生在1700年。近期的研究表明,未来50年里,新地震发生的概率只有1/3。

The pre-eminent symbol of poor earthquake preparedness in the region is Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct. It is a grubby-looking, double-decked elevated highway that was built in the 1950s and carries about 110,000 vehicles a day along the city's waterfront. A magnitude-6.8 quake damaged and temporarily closed it in 2001. State experts have since estimated that the odds of an earthquake bringing it down are one in ten over the next decade.

该地区对抗震最弱的环节是西雅图至阿拉斯加的高架桥。这条高速路肮脏污浊,双层高架,建于20世纪50年代,建在海岸边,每天通行量约为11万车次,。2001年一场6.8级地震令其受损并短时停运,美国专家已研究证明,未来十年,这条高速路若地震毁坏的可能性为1/10。

Concern about thousands of commuters being crushed between slabs of falling concrete has pushed the city, state and federal governments to approve a plan that would replace the viaduct with a tunnel. But fear of downtown gridlock is pushing back the closure and demolition of the viaduct until at least 2016, when the tunnel is supposed to be ready.

考虑到地震可能造成成千上万的市民被压在混凝土之下,市、省及联邦政府决定实行新计划:将高架桥改为隧道。但是,现阶段的城市交通大堵塞,道路供不应求,可能使高架桥才能关闭和拆除延迟到2016年。届时,隧道才能全部修建完毕。

Having seen the devastation in Japan, Seattle's mayor, Mike McGinn, said on March 14th that the city needs to rethink. He called for the viaduct to be closed next year. He was immediately accused of fear-mongering, not to mention endangering local commerce. And state officials responded by saying that while the highway is vulnerable to an earthquake, the risk is no greater than before Japan's disaster. They said they were simply trying to balance safety with protecting the economy. To that end, they temporarily closed the viaduct last weekend to install new gates that automatically block access one minute after a quake is detected.

见识了日本地震灾难,西雅图市长,麦克麦凯金恩于14号称,本市应该重新考虑,并且呼吁明年就关闭高架桥。很快,他被指散播恐慌性言论,更别提此举对本地经济的影响。本州官员回应到,这条高速路很容易受地震影响,其危险性不亚于之前的日本,他们称他们将尽可能找到安全和经济的平衡点。上周此高速被短暂关闭,为安装新入口装置——当地震发生后一分钟,通道口将自动关闭。

重点单词   查看全部解释    
automatically [.ɔ:tə'mætikəli]

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adv. 自动地,机械地

 
anxiety [æŋ'zaiəti]

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n. 焦虑,担心,渴望

 
iodine ['aiədai:n]

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n. 碘,碘酒

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distress [dis'tres]

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n. 痛苦,苦恼,不幸
vt. 使痛苦,使苦恼

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demolition [.demə'liʃən]

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n. 破坏,毁坏 (复数)demolitions:炸药

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row [rəu,rau]

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n. 排,船游,吵闹
vt. 划船,成排

 
vulnerable ['vʌlnərəbl]

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adj. 易受伤害的,有弱点的

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block [blɔk]

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n. 街区,木块,石块
n. 阻塞(物), 障

 
compound ['kɔmpaund]

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n. 混合物,复合词
n. 院子(用围墙圈起来

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magnitude ['mægnitju:d]

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n. 大小,重要,光度,(地震)级数,(星星)等级

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