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紐時賞析/鹹海消失 小鎮成生態危機景點

2018-08-29 10:25紐時賞析

How a Disappearing Sea Became a Town’s Main Attraction

The fierce windstorm that walloped this small defunct port in late spring stunned even a local ecologist long resigned to the devastation wrought by the disappearance of the once ample Aral Sea.

今年春末,一場強烈風暴肆虐這個廢棄的小港口時,連當地一位生態學家也大驚失色,儘管他早已接受,鹹海這曾經廣大的海洋消失,定會帶來大破壞的事實。

A thick, stinging haze greeted the ecologist, Gileyboi Zhyemuratov, as he stepped outside that day in May. “When you opened the door, everything was white like snow,” said Zhyemuratov, 57, a descendant of generations of fishermen in a place where there are no longer any fish.

5月的那天,生態學家吉雷波.朱耶穆拉托夫踏出房門,迎面而來的是濃厚、刺眼的霧霾。57歲的朱耶穆拉托夫說:「打開門時,一切像雪一樣白。」他家數代捕魚為業,而如今此地已不再有魚。

For three days, the tempest hurled silt off the former seabed of what was once the planet’s fourth-largest inland body of water. It blotted out the sky and left the residents of the former port, Muynak, in western Uzbekistan, chewing salty grit. Even the rain turned brackish, sending panicked farmers scrambling to rescue crops.

整整3天,暴風雨從鹹海的舊日海床刮起泥沙。它鋪天蓋地,讓穆伊納克的居民吃進帶著鹹味的沙礫。就連雨水也成了鹹水,害得驚慌失措的農民忙著搶救莊稼。鹹海曾經是世界第四大湖泊,位於烏茲別克西部的穆伊納克原本則是鹹海邊的港口。

As the storm blew in, Vladimir Zuev, a retired Russian pilot turned tour operator, was sitting beneath his shady pergola, where the garden gnomes consist of a bust of Lenin and other Soviet icons.

暴風雨狂吹時,轉行當旅遊業者的退休俄羅斯飛行員佛拉基米爾.祖耶夫坐在他陰暗的涼棚下,花園內的小矮人雕像包括一個列寧半身像和其他蘇聯時代的偶像人物。

“It was impossible to see,” he said. “The salt was dry, yet it adhered to the skin and was difficult to wipe off. You could barely wash it off with water.” The flowers in his garden withered.

他說:「眼前什麼都看不見。鹽是乾的,但它會黏在皮膚上,很難擦掉。你幾乎無法用水洗掉它。」他園子裡的花全枯萎了。

Paradoxically, the man-made disaster strangling the town has become its main attraction in recent years. Tourism is booming.

弔詭的是,扼殺該鎮的人為災難近年卻成了該鎮的主要吸引力。旅遊業正蓬勃發展。

“A lot of people want to see an ecological crisis,” said Vadim Sokolov, head of the Uzbek branch of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.

國際拯救鹹海基金會烏茲別克分會負責人瓦迪姆.索科洛夫說:「很多人都想一探生態危機的究竟。」

Where waves once lapped at the harbor’s lighthouse, rusting trawlers now sit abandoned on the sandy seabed far below, like dinosaur bones bleaching in the sunshine.

曾經波浪拍打著海港燈塔的地方,現在只見生鏽的拖網漁船棄置在遠方低處的沙質海床上,且活像是被陽光漂白的恐龍骨骸。

A selfie from the ship cemetery has become a must-have for the Instagram crowd.

對Instagram用戶來說,和漁船墳場來張自拍,是一定要的啦。

Ali and Poline Belhout, a Parisian couple in their 30s, stopped in Muynak on their yearlong around-the-world tour. “It is sad to see that some years ago there was a sea, and now it is only a graveyard for ships,” she said. “To see boats docked like that is a little freaky.”

穆伊納克是阿里與寶琳.貝烏特旅行的一站,兩人來自巴黎,是一對30多歲夫婦,花了一年時間環遊世界。她說:「眼前景象令人有點傷感,幾年前還是一片海洋,如今只剩漁船墳場。看到船隻這樣停靠著有點怪怪的。」

Once lacking a hotel, Muynak now has three, along with an internet cafe, and the government is organizing an electronic music festival here on Sept. 14.

穆伊納克原本一家飯店也沒有,如今已有3家,另加一家網咖。9月14日,政府準備在這辦個電音祭。

The sea, which vanished from Muynak around 1986, is now more than 75 miles away. The only water view is in the modest local museum, with its tattered photographs and nostalgic oil paintings of the once blue horizon.

約莫是1986年,海洋從穆伊納克消失,現在它離穆伊納克至少75英里遠。水景只有在當地樸實的博物館內才看得到,裡面有破舊的照片及繪有藍色海平線的懷舊油畫。

That unprecedented storm last May confirmed a grim prognosis: The environmental fallout from the loss of the Aral Sea is intensifying.

今年5月的那場空前風暴成了嚴峻預測的一大明證:鹹海消失造成的環境影響正在加劇。

The sea’s disappearance “is not just a tragedy, as many people have said, it is an active hazard unfolding before our eyes,” said Helena Fraser, head of the United Nations Development Program in Uzbekistan.

烏茲別克聯合國開發計畫署負責人海倫娜.佛雷澤說,海洋的消失,「不僅是一場悲劇,正如許多人所說,它是正在我們眼前展開的一場活生生的危險。」

中亞國家烏茲別克的穆伊納克鎮原是個鹹海港口,隨著整個鹹海面積縮小,該鎮的鹹海也乾涸(dry up)消失。穆伊納克成了功能盡失(defunct)的前港口後,轉型成觀光小鎮(tourist town),最大的號召力是船墳場(ship graveyard,ship cemetery),該鎮所有船隻在鹹海日漸消失時,就地停泊(dock)在沙漠化(desertification)的海床上,與海床一起遭到風蝕與鹽化。

鹹海位於哈薩克南部與烏茲別克北部,原為世界第四大湖泊,根據今年6月的一份報告,鹹海將在2025年完全乾涸。鹹海乾涸是人為災難(man-made disaster),兩國為發展農業灌溉,引走了兩條河流的流水,導致注入鹹海河水減少。

第一段中resign(ed),意為接受,認命或逆來順受,如The team refused to be resigned to defeat。(該隊拒絕接受失敗結果)。也可寫成The team refused to resign themselves to defeat.

文/Neil MacFarquhar 譯/王麗娟

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