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地震专家对尼泊尔强震有“先知”

作者:未知 来源:未知 2015-04-30 我要评论( )

Experts gathered in Nepal a week ago to ready for earthquake

地震专家对尼泊尔强震有“先知”

Nepal's devastating earthquake was the disaster experts knew was coming.

尼泊尔遭遇的此次毁灭性地震是在地震专家预料之中。

Just a week ago, about 50 earthquake and social scientists from around the world came to Kathmandu, Nepal, to figure out how to get this poor, congested, overdeveloped, shoddily built area to prepare better for the big one, a repeat of the 1934 temblor that leveled this city. They knew they were racing the clock, but they didn't know when what they feared would strike.

仅在一周前,来自世界各地的约五十名地震学家和社会学家来到尼泊尔首都加德满都讨论,如果1934年那场将这座城市夷为平地的大地震再次上演,如何才能让这个贫穷、拥挤、过度开发且建筑粗制滥造的地区更妥善地做好准备。专家们知道自己在和时间赛跑,但他们不知道令人担忧的情况何时会出现。

"It was sort of a nightmare waiting to happen," said seismologist James Jackson, head of the earth sciences department at the University of Cambridge in England. "Physically and geologically what happened is exactly what we thought would happen."

“有点像迟早会成真的噩梦,”英国剑桥大学地球科学系主任、地震学家詹姆斯•杰克逊(James Jackson)说,“从物理学和地质学的角度来说,发生的事情完全在我们的预料之中。”

But he didn't expect the massive quake that struck Saturday to happen so soon. The magnitude 7.8 earthquake killed more than 1,900 and counting and caused widespread destruction.

但杰克逊没有料到这场大地震会来得如此之快,在周六降临。这场里氏7.8级地震已经造成了1900人死亡(死亡人数仍在上升)以及大面积的破坏。

"I was walking through that very area where that earthquake was and I thought at the very time that the area was heading for trouble," said Jackson, lead scientist for Earthquakes Without Frontiers, a group that tries to make Asia more able to bounce back from these disasters and was having the meeting.

“地震无国界”是一个帮助亚洲从灾难中重新振作的团体,它组织召开了这次专家会议。其主席科学家杰克逊说:“我曾到过地震发生的地方,那时我就在想那儿可能会有灾难发生。”

A Kathmandu earthquake has long been feared, not just because of the natural seismic fault, but because of the local, more human conditions that make it worse.

人们早就担心加德满都会遭遇大地震,不仅是因为它处于地震断层,还因为更多人为的因素会导致灾难更严重。

The same size shaking can have bigger effects on different parts of the globe because of building construction and population and that's something the U.S. Geological Survey calculates ahead of time. So the same level of severe shaking would cause 10 to 30 people to die per million residents in California, but 1,000 maybe more in Nepal, and up to 10,000 in parts of Pakistan, India, Iran and China, said USGS seismologist David Wald.

同样面积的震动会因为房屋建筑和人口稠密给全球的一些地方带来更大的影响。这一点是美国地质勘探局很早之前计算出来的。因此,勘探局的地震学家大卫·瓦尔德(David Wald)说,同样程度的强震,如果发生在加利福尼亚,每一百万人会有10-30人丧生,而在尼泊尔,可能导致1000人遇难,在巴基斯坦、印度、伊朗和中国的一些地方,可能会造成多达一万人死亡。

While the trigger of the disaster is natural — an earthquake — "the consequences are very much man-made," Jackson said. Except for landslides, which in this case are a serious problem, "it's buildings that kill people not earthquakes," Jackson said. If you lived in a flat desert with no water, an earthquake wouldn't harm you, but then few people want to live there.

尽管地震发生的原因是自然原因,“但它造成的后果大多是人为的,”杰克逊说。除了山体滑坡,在这种情况下,这会是一个很严重的问题。“地震中杀死人的是建筑,而不是地震本身,”他说。如果你住在平坦干旱的荒漠里,那地震根本就不会对你造成任何伤害,但是极少数人愿意住在那里。

"The real problem in Asia is how people have concentrated in dangerous places," Jackson said.

杰克逊说:“亚洲国家面临的真正问题是在一些危险区域,人口十分密集。”

Kathmandu was warned, first by the Earth itself: this is the fifth significant quake there in the last 205 years, including the massive 1934 one.

这是地球第一次对加德满都发出警告:此次地震是205年以来的第五场大地震,包括1934年的那场。

"They knew they had a problem but it was so large they didn't where to start, how to start," said Hari Kumar, southeast Asia regional coordinator for GeoHazards International, a group that works on worldwide quake risks. Kumar, Jackson and Wald said Nepal was making progress on reducing its vulnerability to earthquakes, but not quickly or big enough.

国家自然灾害防制组织(一个致力于研究世界地震风险的组织)东南亚地区事务协调员哈里·库马尔(Hari Kumar)说:“他们知道自己的问题,但正因为问题太大,他们不知从何着手,如何着手。”库马尔、杰克逊和瓦尔德说,尼泊尔有在努力提高自身对地震的抵抗力,但效果不太明显,还需要些日子。

Kumar's group on April 12 updated a late 1990s report summarizing the Kathmandu Valley risks.

库马尔小组在4月12日更新了一篇20世纪90年代晚期的报告,总结了加德满都河谷的地质灾害风险。

"With an annual population growth rate of 6.5 percent and one of the highest urban densities in the world, the 1.5 million people living in the Kathmandu Valley were clearly facing a serious and growing earthquake risk," the report said, laying out "the problem" the valley faces. "It was also clear that the next large earthquake to strike near the Valley would cause significantly greater loss of life, structural damage, and economic hardship than past earthquakes had inflicted."

报告称:“加德满都河谷每年人口增长率达6.5%,是世界上城市密度最高的地区之一。在这里居住的150万人明显面临着严重且日益增加的地震风险。”报告将河谷面临的“问题”一一展开,“很明显,和以往的地震带来的灾害相比,下一次袭击河谷附近的大地震会造成更重大的伤亡损失,建筑破坏和经济困境。”

And for years there were no building codes and rampant development so homes and other structures could be built without any regards to earthquakes, the report said. There are now building codes, but that doesn't help the older structures, and the codes aren't overly strong, Kumar said.

报告称,多年来,这里没有建筑规范,但开发得很快,所以住宅和其他建筑在建造时没有任何防震考虑。库马尔说,如今有了建筑规范,但这对老建筑并没有什么影响,并且规范实施力度也不大。

It's actually even made worse because of local inheritance laws that require property be split equally among all sons, Jackson said. So that means buildings are split vertically among brothers making very thin rickety homes that need more space so people add insecure living space on additional floors, he said.

杰克逊说,实际上,当地的继承法使问题雪上加霜。法律要求房产应该平分给所有的儿子。他补充道,这就意味着建筑会在兄弟间平分,导致房屋结构不稳,如果需要更多空间的话,人们就会私自加建楼层。

"The construction is appalling in Kathmandu," Jackson said.

杰克逊说:“加德满都的建筑令人胆战心惊。”

Poverty and pollution make the problem worse, Jackson said. That's because people don't spend time worrying about some future earthquake because they have more pressing problems.

杰克逊说,贫穷和污染使问题更恶化。正因为人们面临着更紧迫的问题,所以没时间担忧未来可能发生的地震。

"If you live in the Kathmandu Valley you have other priorities, daily threats and daily nasty things happen to you in terms of air quality, water quality, pollution, traffic and just poverty," Jackson said. "But it doesn't mean that the earthquakes go away."

“如果你住在加德满都河谷,你会优先考虑其他一些事情,每天会面临威胁以及讨厌的事情,比如空气质量、饮用水质量、污染、交通以及贫困,”杰克逊说,“但这不意味着地震就会消失。”

重点词汇学习:

seismologist [saiz'mɔlədʒist, sais-]
n. 地震学家

seismic ['saizmik, 'sais-]
adj. 地震的;因地震而引起的

fault [fɔ:lt]
n. 故障;[地质] 断层;错误;缺点;毛病;(网球等)发球失误vi. 弄错;产生断层vt. (通常用于疑问句或否定句)挑剔

rickety ['rikəti]
adj. 摇晃的;虚弱的;患佝偻病的

earthquake ['ə:θkweik]
n. 地震;大动荡

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