Flood Risk Keeps Thousands in China Away From Their Homes
四川疏散地震灾民以防堰塞湖决堤

Three weeks after the earthquake in China's Sichuan province displaced five million people, a few hundred thousand have had to move again - out of the way of a dammed river that poses a flood risk. Many of the quake's survivors are anxious to get back home.

 

中国四川三星期前发生的地震导致1500万人无家可归,现在又有几十万人必须再次搬迁,避开一个堰塞湖可能泛滥的洪水。许多地震灾民急于返回家园。

The city of Mianyang was hit hard by the May 12 earthquake. Tents line the roads, temporary homes for people living in front of their damaged houses and shops.

 

绵阳市受到5月12号地震的沉重打击。路边排满了帐篷,还有人住在坍塌的房屋和商店前的临时住所里。

But just north of the city, the tents disappear. Low-lying areas have been evacuated and people have been sent to higher ground. Landslides during the earthquake dammed a river further north, creating what is now called the Tangjiashan lake.

 

但是就在绵阳以北,帐篷都消失了。地势低洼区域的人已经疏散,被送往地势较高的地方。更北的地方,地震造成的滑坡泥石流拦断了一条河,如今成了唐家山堰塞湖。

Thousands of soldiers have worked for days to gradually drain the lake, the largest of more than 30 formed by the quake. But experts fear that aftershocks could shake loose the dam before the lake is empty, flooding communities downstream.

 

数以千计的军人连续多日奋战,争取逐步疏导唐家山堰塞湖的湖水。这次地震形成了30多个这样的堰塞湖,唐家山堰塞湖是最大的。但是专家担心,在湖中的水尚未排出之前,余震可能会震开湖坝,导致洪水淹没下游地区。

Thousands of people from nearby villages are taking refuge at the top of a mountain known as Tao Hua. If the dam gives way and the lake floods the valley, the mountain should remain above the water.

 

附近村庄的数千人正在附近的桃花山顶躲避。如果湖坝决堤,湖水淹没洼地,山顶应该还是安全的。

Wen Feng brought his family here even before authorities began ordering small towns to evacuate. Wen said he had to bring his child and elderly parents here to the top of the hill immediately because they cannot flee if the flood comes. For adults like himself, he said, it is not a problem to flee, but he came here just for them.

 

温峰(音译)在政府还没命令小镇上居民疏散之前,就带着家人到山顶来了。他说,他不得不赶快带着孩子和年迈的父母爬到山顶来,因为如果洪水来了,他们逃不了。他说,像他这样的成年人逃跑不成问题,他到这里来是为了孩子和老人。

Wen said he could not imagine losing his parents and seven-year-old son. He sits in a tent made from nylon tarps supported by small branches. He and his family have already had to move several times, and he said he does not know when they will be able to go home. He has nightmares about the quake, the aftershocks and now the flood, too.

 

温峰说,他很难想象失去父母和7岁的儿子怎么办。他坐在一个防水尼龙布和树枝搭起来的帐篷里。他和全家已经被迫迁移了几次。他说,不知道什么时候能回家。他做梦都梦见地震、余震,现在又加上洪水。

Wen said everyone wants a quiet, peaceful life. "But the quake and the flood makes everyone here nervous. If the situation continues like this," he said, "our hearts will not be able to take it anymore."

 

温峰说,大家都想过太平日子。但是地震和洪水让所有的人都感到紧张。他说,要是情况再这样下去,人们心里实在受不了了。

It is hot on the mountain, and many people have retreated into the woods nearby to play cards in the shade. One woman, Wang Jin Hui, said she still worries, even here.

 

山上很热,许多人躲到附近的树林里,在树荫下打牌。一个名叫王金辉(音译)的妇女说,就是在这里,她也还是担心。

Wang said she worries about a bigger earthquake or the flood coming, that maybe the place where they are staying now will also be destroyed. After the quake, she said, her legs always feel soft, like she is swaying in the wind when she walks. All day her brain is nervous, and her heart feels like it will stop.

 

她说,她担心发生更大的地震或洪水,可能他们现在待的地方也会毁了。在地震后,她老觉得腿软,好像是在大风里摇摇晃晃走路一样。她整天都头脑紧张,觉得心脏快要停止跳动一样。

One disaster has been compounded by the threat of another. Wang still seems amazed at their predicament.

 

一场灾难还没过,又可能发生另一场灾难,王金辉对这种困境不知所措。

"It is crazy," she said. "The quake is not finished, but the flood is coming."

 

她说,简直要疯了,地震还没完,洪水又要来了。

Yet every person says they will go back to their villages.

 

但是大家都说要回自己村里去。

Wang said life will be hard if they go back. They will have to live in tents, but at least they can harvest the crops left in the fields. That remains one of their biggest concerns - for some people, those crops are all they have left.

 

王金辉说,回去生活会很艰难,只能住在帐篷里,但是至少可以收获留在地里的庄稼,这是他们最关心的事。对有些人说来,只有这些庄稼了。

Zhou Guo Tai is the accountant for Tai Bei village. He says his village was one of the first to be evacuated, so they have been here for 10 days. And during that time, the financial losses from their crops keeps mounting.

 

周国泰(音译)是泰北村(音译)的会计。他说,他们村是第一批疏散的,所以来这里已经10天了。在这段时间里,庄稼损失不断增加。

He says people are definitely more anxious here. Not only the farmers but also the officials are quite anxious. He really hopes the people can return to their homes as soon as possible.

 

他说,大家都很着急。不仅农民急,干部也很急。他真希望大家能早点回家。

He sits in front of a blue tent labeled "Tai Bei Village Office" tallying numbers. He says it is too hot inside the tents to do anything.

 

他坐在一顶上面写着“泰北村办公室”的蓝色帐篷前记账。他说,帐篷里太热,什么事也做不了。

As some of the evacuees voice their anxieties, Wang Jin Qun tries to put things in perspective. She says of course they are very anxious about staying here too long. Their crops are still in the fields and cannot be harvested. But, Wang says, safety is the most important thing; life is the most important.

 

尽管疏散到这里的人都表示很着急,但是王金辉(音译)却争取全面地看这个问题。她说,大家当然担心在这里待的时间太长。大家的庄稼还在地里,收不上来。但是她说,最要紧的是安全,人命最要紧。