Monitoring a deadly volcano 科學家監控極其危險的尼拉貢戈火山

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Monitoring a deadly volcano 科學家監控極其危險的尼拉貢戈火山

學習要點

有關“volcanoes 火山”的詞匯

邊看邊答

What happened when the scientists’ warnings about the volcano were ignored?

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Shrouded in mystery, it towers above eastern Congo. The Nyiragongo volcano is one of the most active and feared in the world. Smoke and clouds mingle at its peak hiding the threat within.

At nearly 3,500 metres above sea level, this volcano is difficult to access and predict. From the city of Goma below, a group of Congolese scientists keep a close watch looking for signs of danger.

Mahinda Celestin, Goma Volcano Observatory’s Director

“The volcano is like a sick person. And we have to monitor. Every time…every time… every second.”

Their warnings were ignored in 2002 when an eruption destroyed parts of the city. Ninety thousand people lost their homes and dozens of residents died. But today, some of the houses are built around the solidified lava and the local population is much more aware of the risks.

For now, there are no warning signs. And it’s not just scientists summiting the volcano. Tourists are joining them. It takes seven hours of hard trekking to reach the top. But it’s well worth the effort.

Set in the Unesco world heritage site of Virunga National Park, the Nyiragongo and its magnificent lava lake are attracting visitors from across the world. And with that, Goma’s biggest natural threat is giving back to the community living below..

籠罩著一層神秘的色彩 – 這是矗立在剛果民主共和國東部的尼拉貢戈火山。它是世界上最活躍也是最令人畏懼的火山之一。在山峰處盤旋著的煙霧和雲團隱藏了其潛在的威脅。

該火山海拔近3500米,這讓人們很難接近並獲取和它相關的信息,也難以預測其異常活動。一組來自尼拉貢戈山腳下城市戈馬的剛果科學家們負責嚴密監測這座火山顯示的危險征兆。

塞勒斯廷 戈馬火山觀測台負責人

“這座火山就像是一個需要密切照料的病人。我們每時每刻、每分每秒都要監測它的動向。”

然而,這些科學家在2002年發出的一次警告卻被人忽視,同年火山噴發,摧毀了這座城市的部分地區。九萬人因此無家可歸,數十名居民喪生。但現在,當地部分房屋就建在火山爆發後固化的岩漿周圍,戈馬市居民對火山的潛在風險也有了更深的認識。

科學家們眼下並未檢測到火山即將噴發的征兆。而除了科學家之外,游客也加入了登上火山頂峰的行列。雖然人們需要經過七個小時的艱苦跋涉才能登頂,但這是非常值得的。

尼拉貢戈火山坐落在被列入聯合國教科文組織世界遺產名單中的維龍加國家公園內,火山口深處壯觀的熔岩湖吸引著來自世界各地的游客前來觀看。作為戈馬最大的自然威脅,尼拉貢戈火山以功折過,用這種方式來回報住在山下的人群。

詞匯

towers above
矗立在…上

active
(火山)活的

peak
山頂,山峰

eruption
(火山的)爆發,噴發

lava
(火山噴出的)岩漿,熔岩

你知道嗎?

Volcanoes (or volcanos) can change the weather. They can cause rain, thunder and lightning. Volcanoes can also have long-term effects on the climate, making the world cooler.

火山能改變天氣。它可以引發雷雨和閃電,也能給氣候帶來長期的影響,以致地球溫度下降。

問題答案

Ninety thousand people living around the city of Goma lost their homes and dozens of residents died.

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