The Biggest Refugee Camp Braces for Rain: ‘This Is Going to Be a Catastrophe’ 雨季將至 最大難民營危在旦夕

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讀紐時學英文
2018/04/13 第210期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
 
 

編輯小語 The Biggest Refugee Camp Braces for Rain: ‘This Is Going to Be a Catastrophe’ 雨季將至 最大難民營危在旦夕
Dial P for Privacy: The Phone Booth Is Back 撥打P找隱私:電話亭捲土重來

編輯小語
 

The Biggest Refugee Camp Braces for Rain: ‘This Is Going to Be a Catastrophe’ 雨季將至 最大難民營危在旦夕
Somini Sengupta and Henry Founta
譯/李京倫

The world’s largest refugee camp, a temporary home to more than half a million people that sprawls precariously across barren hills in southeastern Bangladesh, faces a looming disaster as early as April when the first storms of the monsoon season hit, aid workers warn.

“It’s going to be landslides, flash floods, inundation,” said Tommy Thompson, chief of emergency support and response for the World Food Program. “It’s going to be a very, very challenging wet season. That’s if we don’t have a cyclone.”

世界最大難民營在孟加拉東南部,是50多萬人的臨時居所,難民營雜亂地蔓延在光禿禿的廣大山丘上,這些難民則過著飄搖的生活。如今援助人員警告災難可能即將來臨,因為雨季第一波暴風雨最快四月就會來襲。

世界糧食計劃署緊急支援與回應部門負責人湯普森說:「會有山崩、山洪暴發和水災。這將是非常、非常具挑戰性的雨季。這還是指沒有熱帶氣旋的情況呢。」

Nearly 600,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees live in the camp, at Cox’s Bazar, near the southern tip of Bangladesh. Cyclones, which can occur from March to July, would considerably worsen the situation beyond the dangers of flooding and landslides.

The Rohingya camp — known officially as the Kutupalong-Balukhali settlements, and informally as the megacamp — is the most urgent example of the new calamities that come with the global refugee crisis: a huge influx of desperate people fleeing war or persecution, only to face natural disaster in an ecologically fragile area potentially made more precarious by climate change.

近60萬洛興雅穆斯林難民住在這裡,孟加拉最南端附近的柯克斯巴札爾。熱帶氣旋通常在3月到7月生成,將使難民營的情勢大幅惡化,比洪水和山崩的危害更嚴重許多。

洛興雅難民營的正式名稱是庫圖巴朗和巴鲁卡里聚居區,外號「特大難民營」,是與全球難民危機一起發生的新災難的最急迫案例:大批絕望的人為了逃避戰亂或迫害湧入此地,不料在這生態環境脆弱處面臨天災,而氣候變遷可能又使此地更不安全。

“We can definitely see how this is going to be a catastrophe, no matter what,” said Mélody Braun, who studies risk reduction strategies at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University and visited the camp last month. “There’s really no space. People are everywhere. Slopes are really high.”

Before the Rohingya started crossing into Bangladesh from Myanmar in large numbers in the summer, fleeing attacks on their villages by the army and allied mobs, the hills were dotted with forest.

美樂蒂.布朗在美國哥倫比亞大學國際氣候與社會研究所任職,研究降低風險的策略,上個月到這個難民營看過。她說:「我們勢必會看到這裡發生一場大災難,不論那是什麼。這裡根本沒有多餘的空間,到處都是人,斜坡又十分高陡。」

去年夏天,洛興雅人開始大批從緬甸越界進入孟加拉,躲避緬甸軍方及其夥同的暴民的攻擊。在此之前,這片山丘可是森林密布。

But then, in a matter of weeks, as refugees poured in by the tens of thousands, trees were hacked away. Canals were dug. Bamboo-and-tarp shacks went up. More trees were cut as refugees scrambled to find firewood.

The hills, where elephants recently roamed, are now bare. Even the roots have been pulled out, leaving nothing to hold the parched soil together as rainwater washes downhill, potentially taking tents and people with it and quickly inundating low-lying settlements. The United Nations says 100,000 refugees are at acute risk from landslides and floods.

The early rains — known in Bengali as kalboishakhi, which translates loosely as the storms of an “evil summer” — are a precursor to the full-on monsoons. They strike when the soil is still dry and especially susceptible to mudslides. The only warning of their approach is usually hot winds that send the dry earth of summer swirling through the air.

接下來,在短短幾周內,隨著難民數以萬計蜂擁而入,樹木大遭砍伐。他們開挖水道,又用竹子與防水帆布搭建簡陋小屋。當難民爭相找尋柴火時,又砍了更多的樹。

不久前有大象四處遊蕩的這些山丘,如今已光禿一片,就連樹根也拔得一乾二淨,以致一旦雨水往山下沖刷時,沒有任何東西能抓住焦乾的土壤,可能會連帳篷和人一起沖走,並迅速淹沒地勢低窪的居住區。聯合國指出,有10萬難民面臨嚴重的山崩和洪水威脅。

雨季初期的雨,孟加拉語稱為kalboishakhi,大概可譯為「邪惡夏天」的暴風雨,是真正火力全開的季風雨的前奏。初期的雨勢來襲時,土壤還是乾的,特別容易發生泥石流,這種雨唯一的預兆,通常是把夏季乾燥的塵土吹得在空中打轉的熱風。

※說文解字看新聞

本文談孟加拉洛興雅難民營的環境遭破壞,勢必經不起季風雨的沖刷而發生災難。印度季風(Indian monsoon)是世界著名的季風系統,主要影響印度及其周邊海域,在六月和七月給這個區域帶來豐沛雨量。monsoon可以指季風、盛行西南季風的季節或季風帶來的雨,通常指「雨季」或 「季風帶來的雨」。

本文首段的sprawls(蔓延)是指「難民營」,不是「五十多萬人」。新聞英文經常用到的是urban sprawl(城市無計劃地擴展),特徵是低密度住宅區、對私家車的依賴漸增,通常伴隨著能源使用量增加、汙染與交通壅塞變嚴重、社區向心力下降。

precariously(不安全地)不是形容sprawls,而是形容難民的生活。precariously在此包含兩個意思,一是房子(premises)不穩固,二是生活朝不保夕。

華盛頓郵報專欄作家亞歷山德拉.佩特里最近撰文,美國國會是one of the checks and balances holding our democracy precariously in place,倘若川普硬幹,國會共和黨人絕不會坐視不管。

 

Dial P for Privacy: The Phone Booth Is Back 撥打P找隱私:電話亭捲土重來
文/Dodai Stewart
譯/王麗娟

For much of the 20th century, the phone booth was a steadfast and essential installation of modern life, from bustling cities to tumbleweed-strewn desert gas stations. Tippi Hedren was attacked in one in “The Birds,” Clark Kent frequently changed into Superman in one and Bill and Ted used one to time-travel on their excellent adventure. In “The Matrix,” a phone booth was a portal — an exit device from the digital realm.

But to lay eyes upon a phone booth now — be it the charming old jungle-green one tucked in the back of the restaurant Indochine, in the NoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, or one of the four remaining sidewalk booths on the Upper West Side — is to glimpse a relic of a seemingly ancient civilization.

在20世紀的多數時候,從熙熙攘攘的城市到風滾草滿佈的沙漠加油站,電話亭是現代生活中,忠實且不可或缺的一個裝置。 希區考克代表作《鳥》一片中,女主角蒂比海德倫在電話亭內遭到鳥群攻擊。克拉克.肯特常在電話亭內變身成《超人》,阿比和阿弟在他們精彩的冒險中,利用電話亭成為時空旅人。在電影《駭客任務》中,電話亭是一個傳送門,是踏出數位領域的出口裝置。

不過,現在看到電話亭 ,有如瞥見看似來自古文明的一個老古董,無論它是藏身在曼哈坦諾荷街區印度支那餐廳後方,那個迷人的叢林綠色電話亭,或是上西城人行道上四個僅存電話亭中的一個。

As mobile phone use exploded and the pay phone was increasingly linked to crime, the booth began to disappear. At the same time, workplaces saw the rise of the open floor plan. We all saw (and heard) a proliferation of mobile phones, and with it, the irritating, distracting sound of a one-sided conversation from your cubicle mate.

Lauren Emberson, then a psychology Ph.D. candidate at Cornell University, called it a “halfalogue.” As she put it in the publication Psychological Science: “I really felt like I couldn’t do anything else when someone was on a cellphone. I couldn’t read. I couldn’t even listen to my music.”

隨著手機使用爆炸性成長,付費電話日益與犯罪掛鉤,電話亭也開始消失。與此同時,職場則是開放式空間興起。我們都目睹(且聽說了)手機氾濫這件事,隨之而來的則是,你的小隔間同事所發出,令人惱火分心的單邊對話的聲音。

羅倫.安柏森在身為康乃爾大學心理學博士候選人時,稱這種對話為「半對話」。正如她在「心理學」雜誌發表的報告中所說的:「有人講手機時,我真的覺得我什麼都做不了。我無法閱讀。甚至無法聽音樂。」

Now, the phone booth — or at least a variation of it — is making a modest comeback.

When the women-only club and work space the Wing opened its first location in the Flatiron neighborhood of Manhattan in October 2016, the interior featured marble tables, pink velvet couches, and one small, windowless, reflective glass-doored room dubbed the Phone Booth. One year later, when another location of the Wing opened in SoHo, eight built-in, glass-doored call rooms were included in the design.

現在,電話亭,或至少是電話亭的一個變種,正溫和地捲土重來。

當「翼」這個女性專用俱樂部兼工作空間2016年10月在曼哈坦「燙斗區」開設首個點時,內部特色包括大理石桌、粉紅色天鵝絨沙發和一個無窗,以反光玻璃為門,暱稱為「電話亭」的小室。一年後,「翼」在蘇活區設置另個點時,它的設計涵蓋8個內建、玻璃門的電話室。

 

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