Earthquakes can be catastrophic natural disasters. But now we know that some earthquakes aren't natural. Human beings can actually cause them.
地震是毁灭性的自然灾害 。但据了解有些地震并不是自然形成的 。实际上人类的活动也会导致火山爆发 。
That's the case with an earthquake in Lorca, Spain, last May. The quake measured 5.1 on the Richter scale and killed nine people. According to an analysis published in Nature Geoscience, the Lorca quake was caused by the extraction of groundwater from an aquifer near the fault that slipped.
去年五月份的西班牙洛尔卡市火山爆发就是一个典型的例子 。这次地震震级为里氏5.1级，共造成9人死亡 。根据一项发表在《自然地球科学》期刊上的研究，洛尔卡地震是由于从地震带滑动断层附近的蓄水池抽水造成的 。
In fact, it doesn't take much to trigger an earthquake. Oil and gas wells, rock quarries, even the added pressure of a reservoir lake behind a new dam can cause the ground to rumble. But we don't know what pressure levels are safe, nor is it clear whether man-made quakes are unique or just the early arrival of temblors that would have occurred naturally.
实际上，引发地震并不需要花费多少力气 。石油和天然气钻井以及采石场，甚至是大坝后的蓄水湖施加的压力，都能导致大地坍塌，轰隆作响 。但我们不知道安全的压力值应保持在什么水平，也不清楚人造地震是否有其独特之处，又或者只有自然发生的地震才会先有余震 。
In the Lorca quake, the shaking itself was much stronger than might be expected from the removed water pressure. Which means we may be able to start earthquakes but we can’t predict their size. If we could, we might be able to relieve stress on schedule and without loss of property—or life.
在洛尔卡地震中，震动程度本身要比预期的强 。这意味着人类也许能引发地震，但却不能预测震级 。如果可以的话，我们就能按日程缓解对地表的压力，以免造成财产、生命损失 。