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《经济学人》:美国南部龙卷风-旋风过后

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Tornadoes in the South
南部龙卷风

Out of the whirlwind
旋风过后

The South cleans up after the deadliest storms in 86 years
86年来最致命风暴过后,美国南部开始清理工作

May 5th 2011 | JEFFERSON COUNTY, ALABAMA | from the print edition

PLEASANT RIDGE BAPTIST CHURCH, set on a busy commercial street in Hueytown, a dozen miles south-west of Birmingham, was open for business. So was the Dairy Queen across the street, and the nearby Publix grocery store. Traffic was thick on Hueytown Road. But the church’s business was not strictly ecclesiastical. It was also serving as a Red Cross shelter for those left homeless just a few miles away. Church members were collecting donations of clothes, water and toiletries. And at the Publix, signs at the checkout counters told shoppers they could help their neighbours with donations added to the cost of their groceries.

休伊镇位于伯明翰西南部十几公里处,普莱曾特里奇浸信会教堂便坐落于这个小镇一条繁忙的商业街上。教堂刚刚开门迎客,对面的DQ冰激凌店和附近的帕布克斯杂货店也都开始营业了。休伊镇的马路交通十分拥挤。这座教堂并不严格限定仅向基督徒开放,它也作为红十字会收容所帮助方圆几公里的无家可归者。教会成员会收集人们捐赠的衣服、饮水和梳洗用具。而帕布克斯杂货店收银台前摆放的标牌也提示顾客,小店将把他们在此花费的一部分钱款捐献给一旁的教会。

Such is the nature of tornadoes: even large ones rain intense destruction on relatively small areas. The one that ran from Tuscaloosa north-east to Birmingham was immense, 1.5 miles across and 80 miles long, with winds exceeding 165 miles per hour. Parts of Alabama were utterly ruined, but most of the state was untouched. More than 300 tornadoes tore through the region between April 25th and 28th, an unprecedented number. They killed around 340 people in seven states, with the bulk of the deaths in Alabama. Not since 1925 have more people been killed by tornadoes in a single day, and not since Hurricane Katrina has there been a deadlier natural disaster in America.

龙卷风实质上是一种拥有强大破坏力的、小范围的空气涡旋。在塔斯卡卢萨县形成,一路向东北方向奔袭,席卷至伯明翰的龙卷风威力巨大,时速超过165英里,留下了一条宽1.5英里、长80英里的废墟带。亚拉巴马州部分地区完全被毁,但该州大部分地区未受到袭击。4月25日至28日期间,超过300场龙卷风席卷此地,数目空前频繁。龙卷风造成美国7个州大约340人遇难,其中绝大多数位于亚拉巴马州。这是自1925年以来单日造成遇难者人数最多的龙卷风,也是自卡特里娜飓风之后美国发生的最为致命的自然灾害。

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budget ['bʌdʒit]

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n. 预算
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prediction [pri'dikʃən]

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affected [ə'fektid]

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comparison [kəm'pærisn]

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