经济学人双语精读 | 日本正在为大地震做准备

The Next Big One
下一场大地震

Japan is preparing for a massive earthquake
日本正在为大地震做准备

The centenary of the Great Kanto earthquake brings angst, and lessons for the world
关东大地震一百周年带来了焦虑,也给世界带来了经验教训

Every year on September 1st, Japan’s ministers trek by foot to the prime minister’s office to take part in a crisis simulation. Across the country, local officials and schoolchildren drill for disasters. The date marks the Great Kanto earthquake, a 7.9-magnitude tremor that struck near the capital back in 1923. The ensuing disaster killed at least 105,000 people, including around 70,000 in Tokyo itself, destroyed 370,000 homes and changed the course of Japanese history.
每年的9月1日,日本的国务大臣们都会步行前往首相官邸,参加危机模拟演习。全国各地的官员和学生也会进行防灾演练。1923年的这一天,东京一带爆发了一场7.9级的地震,也就是关东大地震。随之而来的灾难造成至少10.5万人丧生(其中东京就有约七万人),摧毁了37万所房屋,也改变了日本的历史进程。

This year’s centenary of the disaster has occasioned much commemoration—and angst. What will happen when the next Big One hits? Seismologists cannot predict earthquakes, but their statistical models, which are based on past patterns, can estimate the likelihood of one. The city government’s experts reckon there is a 70% chance of a magnitude 7 or higher quake hitting the capital within the next 30 years. Far fewer people will probably die than during the disaster in 1923, thanks to better technology and planning: the worst case foresees some 6,000 deaths in the city. But millions of lives will be upended.
今年是关东大地震一百周年,人们在大张旗鼓纪念的同时,也忧心忡忡。下一次大地震来袭时会发生什么?地震学家无法预测地震,但他们根据以往的地震活动规律建立的统计模型可以预估地震发生的概率。东京市政府的专家估计,在未来30年内,东京发生七级或以上地震的概率为70%。不过由于更先进的技术和更合理的规划,地震导致的死亡人数可能会大大少于1923年的关东大地震:在最坏的情况下,东京会有约6000人遇难。但数百万人的生活将发生天翻地覆的变化。

Another, similarly likely scenario could be much worse. A Nankai Trough earthquake, envisaged south of Kansai, Japan’s industrial heartland, could trigger a tsunami; as many as 323,000 might be killed, according to an official estimate. Japan’s approach to the risks of such catastrophes offers insights for a warming world facing more frequent disasters.
另一种发生概率接近的情况可能会有糟糕得多的后果。如果日本工业中心关西以南的南海海沟发生地震,则可能引发海啸;一项官方估计认为,这可能导致多达32.3万人死亡。日本应对此类大灾难风险的方法为不断变暖、灾害更加频发的世界提供了启示。

  • scenario 指“设想、方案”或者说“可能发生的事态、局面、情况”,即对未来可能发生的行动或事件的概要叙述,或者说想象中的按照假定顺序发展的一系列事件(参见:小词详解 | scenario
  • envisage 引申指“想象、设想、预想、预计、展望”,常用搭配 envisage (doing) sth ,常意味着一种特别清晰或详细的构思或想象,以至于所设想之事物就像是直观呈现在人的面前那般(参见:小词详解 | envisage