THE STORY OF AN EYEWITNESS
by Jack London
Never before in history has a city been so completely destroyed. San Francisco is gone. Nothing is left of it but memories and some houses far from the centre of the city. Its businesses are gone. The factories, hotels and palaces are all gone too. Within an hour after the earthquake, the smoke of San Francisco's fires could be seen 160 kilometres away. The sun was red in the dark sky. There was no stopping the fires. There was no way to organize or communicate. The steel railway tracks were now useless. And the great pipes for carrying water under the streets had burst. All of the ways man had made to keep the city safe were gone in the thirty seconds the earth moved.
Out at sea it was calm. No wind came up. Yet from every direction - east, west, north, and south, strong winds blew upon the unlucky city. Man himself had to make ruins of some of the city's best buildings so that they would not be a danger to those in the streets. A list of buildings undestroyed was now only a few addresses. A list of the brave men and women would fill a library. A list of all those killed will never be made.
Amazing as it may seem, Wednesday night was a quiet night. There were no crowds. The policemen said nothing; even their horses were quiet. There were no shouts or people doing crazy things. In all those terrible hours I saw not one woman who cried, not one man who was excited. Before the fires, through the night, thousands and thousands of people who had lost their homes left for safety. Some were covered in blankets . Sometimes whole families put everything they owned and could save into wagons . They helped one another climb the high hills around the city. Never in all San Francisco's history were her people so kind as on that terrible night.
历史上从没有过一个城市被这样彻底的破坏过。旧金山已经是过去了。除了对它的记忆和一些远离市中心的房屋，没有任何东西留下来。商业没了，工厂、旅馆、宫 殿也没了。地震发生的一个小时后，旧金山大火的烟雾已经飘散到了160千米远。天空黑暗，太阳是赤红的，大火还在继续。人们无法进行组织及交流。钢铁轨道 现在也没用了。街道底下大的输水管道也遭到了破坏。在地震发生的30秒内，人们用来保护这个城市的所有设施都被没了。
令人惊讶的是，星期三晚却是一个安静的夜晚。这里没有出现拥挤。警官没说任何事，他们的马也是安静的。人们没有尖叫，也没做什么疯狂的事。在这段可怕的时 间内，我没有看见一个妇女哭泣，一个男子紧张。在大火之前，整个晚上，成千上万丢失家园的人为了安全离开了。其中一些包着毛毯。间或有些家庭把所有他们拥 有的并能够救得东西放到了货车上。他们相互帮助爬上了环绕这座城市的山脉。在旧金山的历史上，还没有过像这样的居民，能在如此可怕的夜晚也能保持他们善良的本性。
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