Research into Disaster Deaths
All the disasters on this page involve an environmental phenomenon. Those not yet listed include:
Plus, events less covered in the literature such as:
"If a man drowns in flood waters, or is killed by a building collapse during an earthquake the cause of death is reasonably unambiguous, but when a dying villager in Bihar is found to have a severe case of cholera, to have suffered chronic malnutrition for years, and not to have eaten for two weeks since no food was available due to the drought and the inadequate distribution of relief supplies, are we to say that he will die of cholera, malnutrition, drought, or administrative inefficiency? Some such combination of 'causes' is true in all cases." From pages 8-9 in: Hewitt, K. and I. Burton. 1971. The Hazardousness of a Place: A Regional Ecology of Damaging Events. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Yet for the flood death, did administrative inefficiency lead to lack of warning and lack of rescue? Did the man stay behind to protect his possessions because insurance was not available to him? Had malnutrition weakened him, so he could not swim well? For the earthquake death, did administrative inefficiency lead to lack of monitoring and enforcement of building codes? Did bidding for building contracts force the construction company to cut their bid price and short-change the structure on materials? Was the dead man disabled without mobility-assisting devices and so was unable to "drop, cover, and hold" during the initial shaking?
All disaster deaths are ambiguous.
The causes and circumstances of deaths from disasters is an area in which much more work is needed. This webpage consolidates some of the material available on disaster deaths to provide a resource for researchers.
Disaster mortality studies tend to focus on people who clearly died as a result of a specific disaster event, because such data are relatively unambiguous. Many deaths occur months or years after an event. The cause might be physical, for example someone in a coma, but is often mental, due to stress, lack of post-disaster support, or lack of resources (not just financial resources) to cope with the difficulties. Because establishing cause and effect in such cases is challenging, these deaths frequently remain unnoticed and become part of a disaster's hidden cost. Often, these deaths are described as "indirect", "secondary", or "peripheral". Such labels are inappropriate. Any death caused by a disaster is part of that toll even if it is difficult to include it in statistics.
Therefore, any study of disaster deaths has the inherent weakness of being potentially incomplete without a method for proving completeness. Nonetheless, to develop appropriate policies and practice for reducing fatalities, it is important to understand who is dying in disasters and how and why they are dying. With that understanding, measures could be developed, tested, and implemented, rangeing from specific advice for individual behaviour to a national government's preparedness policy to learning which data should be collected and how that data should be analysed.
The information provided on this website is not intended to be comprehensive, but is indicative of the work which has been done and the groups and people involved in researching disaster deaths. The listed publications reflect those which have been acquired--only a small number compared to those available. Hopefully, this page would nonetheless represent a helpful starting point.
Definitions of terms are not considered here, except where necessary. Instead, studies which examine deaths or related issues--for instance, proposals for consistent data collection or research into detailed loss of life predictive models--in specific disaster events or disaster types are highlighted. A bias is maintained in favour of studies which look at individual-by-individual fatality data and which examine causes and circumstances of potential or actual individual deaths rather than simply compiling numbers, estimating death ratios, or predicting future mortality. Some references listed might be inconsistent with these principles here. They reflect useful, relevant publications which have been acquired.
Further material, particularly sent electronically, would be welcome. Please contact Ilan Kelman. In this way, a "disaster deaths" research community can have more coherence with the aims of improving understanding of the issues, sharing data, and ultimately yielding solid and effective recommendations for preventing disaster deaths.
Despite the focus here on disaster deaths, it would be dangerous and unwise to forget the wider and, in some ways, more important context of all health effects of disasters--health effects on individuals and on society. These topics include disaster-related:
Disaster deaths, however, provide a clear focus for examining one aspect of disasters' impacts on society. The insight and recommendations which emerge from these studies have implications for all the above topics.
General Material or Resources Covering Many Disasters
Blong, R.J. and D.A. Radford. 1993. "Deaths in Natural Hazards in the Solomon Islands". Disasters, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 1-11.
Combs, D.L., L.E. Quenemoen, R.G. Parrish, and J.H. Davis. 1999. "Assessing Disaster-attributed Mortality: Development and Application of a Definition and Classification Matrix." International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 28, pp. 1124-1129.
EM-DAT: Emergency Disasters Data Base. The OFDA/CRED International Disasters Data Base at http://www.em-dat.net
Fingerhut, L.A. 2004. "International Classification of External Causes of Injury". Injury Prevention, vol. 10, pp. 127.
Floret, N., J.-F. Viel, F. Mauny, B. Hoen, and R. Piarroux. 2006. "Negligible Risk for Epidemics after Geophysical Disasters". Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 543-548.
Hutton, J. 1976. "The Differential Distribution of Death in Disaster: A Test of Theoretical Propositions". Mass Emergencies, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 261-266.
Kelman, I. and S.N. Jonkman. 2007. "Disaster Deaths Research Challenges". Presentation at the Hazards and Disasters Researchers Meeting, Boulder, Colorado, USA, 11-12 July 2007, full text (223 kb in PDF).
Kirigia, J.M., L.G. Sambo, W. Aldis, and G.M. Mwabu. 2004. "Impact of disaster-related mortality on gross domestic product in the WHO African Region". BMC Emergency Medicine, vol. 4, no. 1, http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-227X/4/1
Kuhnel, I. and L. Coates. 2000. "El Niño-Southern Oscillation: Related Probabilities of Fatalities from Natural Perils in Australia". Natural Hazards, vol. 22, pp. 117–138.
Langley, J.D. and D.J. Chalmers. 1999. "Coding the circumstances of injury: ICD-10 a step forward or backwards?" Injury Prevention, vol. 5, pp. 247–253.
Medical Emergencies and Mass Casualties (76 kb in Rich Text Format), an extremely helpful list compiled by someone at the Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst Campus and kindly placed on the web (see the document for the website). The references in this list which have not yet been acquired are not listed elsewhere on this webpage. Eric Noji is mentioned in 35 of the 460 references, 21 as first author, indicating his impressive contributions to this field, to which we are all indebted.
Neumayer, E. and T. Plümper. 2007. "The Gendered Nature of Natural Disasters: The Impact of Catastrophic Events on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy, 1981–2002". Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol. 97, no. 3, pp. 551-566.
NWS (National Weather Service) provides useful statistics for severe weather deaths and injuries affecting the USA.
Thacker, M.T.F., R. Lee, R.I. Sabogal, and A. Henderson. 2008. "Overview of deaths associated with natural events, United States, 1979–2004". Disasters, vol. 32, no. 2, pp. 303-315.
Tun, K., B. Butcher, P. Sribonditmongkol, T. Brondolo, T. Caragine, C. Perera, and K. Kent. 2005. "Forensic aspects of disaster fatality management". Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, vol. 20, no. 6, pp. 455-458.
Uscher-Pines, L. 2007. "'But for the Hurricane': Measuring Natural Disaster Mortality over the Long Term". Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 149-151.
Vlahov, D. and S. Galea. 2004. "Epidemiologic Research and Disasters", Annals of Epidemiology, vol. 14, pp. 532–534.
Watson, J.T., M. Gayer, and M.A. Connolly. 2007. "Epidemics after Natural Disasters". Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 1-5.
Plaque near Eastbourne, New Zealand commemorating the Wahine disaster. A hazard of wind, storm, waves, rocks, or poor human reaction?
Causes and circumstances of deaths from astronomical phenomena are not well-studied, providing an interesting research area into deaths and potential deaths from NEO (Near-Earth Objects such as comets and asteroids) impacts along with geomagnetic storms and other forms of space weather. Numerous websites cite cases of meteorite-related casualties, but none could be verified--until 15 February 2013. In the morning local time, as caught by numerous videos and photos, a meteorite burned through the atmosphere over the Chelyabinsk region, Russia. The shockwave shattered glass in thousands of buildings, injured over 1,200 people, and collapsed a factory roof. It appears as if no large fragments fell in populated areas and that no one was hit by any meteorite fragments.
The casualties, it seems, were all injuries with only a handful being serious. That means no fatalities, similar to other cases. The negative, though, is hard to prove: how could we be certain that no one has died? The best feasible statement might be that no death has yet been specifically attributed to astronomical phenomena in human history.
NASA states that "It is a fact that there is no record in modern times of any person being killed by a meteorite". Papers give other potential examples, none of which are confirmed. Pickering (1919) quotes the Bible for one example of deaths and also suggests one story of a man killed by a meteorite in India in 1827. Yamamoto (1928) describes a report of a 3-year-old girl in Japan being hit by a meteorite and suffering minor injuries. Yau et al. (1994) list several examples throughout history where meteorites are alleged to have killed or injured people.
With reference to the 30 June 1908 Tunguska explosion in Siberia, Cohen (2008) writes "Many Evenki, a tent-dwelling nomadic people indigenous to the area, told of animals, their homes and even fellow tribespeople being hurled into the air by a shock wave. An unfortunate few were incinerated". It is unclear what evidence exists to support that contention or if it is part of the local folklore. As well, an ongoing debate surrounds the date of the Kaali meteorite strike on Saaremaa, Estonia within the last several thousand years and the extent of human inhabitation at the time. If the island was inhabited during the strike, fatalities would have been likely, but almost impossible to prove or disprove.
Download the current compilation of Kaali meteorite strike references (48 kb in Rich Text Format).
The Kaali meteorite crater on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia, created within the last several thousand years. Did the impact kill anyone?
Chapman (2004; see also Chapman and Morrison, 1994) estimates the annual number of deaths internationally from NEO impacts as averaging between 300 and 3,000, based on the annual probability of different sized impacts, the time available to respond to specific threats, and the predicted consequences of events. These results are naturally dominated by low-probability high-consequence events meaning that year-to-year impact deaths are usually zero. Plenty of literature (e.g Kuypers et al., 1999 and Xie et al., 2005) exists on mass extinctions due to astronomical phenomena before human beings existed.
The threat to Earth from NEOs has led to monitoring and warning programmes. Several search programmes exist in Europe, the USA, and Japan (Fulchignoni and Barucci, 2005; Thuillot et al., 2005). Plenty of international discussion has occurred regarding how to avert or prepare for a collision once a threat has been identified, but more operational planning and testing of countermeasures is needed (Carusi et al., 2005).
Tsunamis could be caused by asteroid or comet impacts. Kharif and Pelinovsky (2005) report that the most recent known ocean impact occurred approximately 2.15 million years ago, although traces from more recent, smaller events might have vanished. It is possible that no human fatalities have yet resulted from a space-impact-related tsunami.
An individual's characteristics leading to fatalities from astronomical phenomena can include belief systems. Many cultures have interpreted comets and bright meteors as portending calamity (Brown, 1973), likely leading to suicides. In 1997, one sect saw Comet Hale-Bopp's arrival as an opportunity to board a spaceship to the Promised Planet and 39 people committed suicide in a group (Mancinelli et al., 2002). As well, fatalities from heart attacks might have occurred due to meteorite strikes or sudden meteor flashes. Individual characteristics which increase or decrease the potential for astronomical hazard-related suicide or heart attack could be a research area.
The physical mechanism of most space impact deaths would be crushing or physical trauma by the object if it lands, burning from an atmospheric explosion, trauma due to physical forces from the pressure wave or shock wave, or similar mechanisms to earthquakes (including tsunamis, if they occur) as the impact waves radiate outwards. An object could potentially skim the atmosphere without a direct impact, resulting in a regional superfire and/or pressure wave catastrophe along with the consequences of accompanying changes in atmospheric chemistry leading to acid rain and ozone layer destruction (e.g. Munich Re, 2001). Therefore, the principal space object hazard characteristics related to fatalities would be momentum (the product of mass and velocity), trajectory and lead time available before it strikes the Earth.
Extraterrestrial radiation is an astronomical phenomenon related to cancer fatalities, particularly solar radiation exposure exacerbated by the ozone hole as a factor in skin cancer rates (e.g. Green et al., 1999; Oikarinen and Raitio, 2000). These studies also discuss an individual's characteristics which could increase their vulnerability to skin cancer. Other radiation phenomena such as giant flares from other stars--for instance, the 27 December 2004 event reported by Palmer et al. (2005)--lead to the scientists commenting in the media that similar events within several light years of Earth could cause a mass extinction.
Significant scope exists for further research into the causes and circumstances of fatalities from the environmental hazard of astronomical phenomena.
Brown, P.L. 1973. Comets, Meteorites and Men. Robert Hale and Co., London, U.K.
Carusi, A., E. Perozzi, and H. Scholl. 2005. "The Near Earth Objects: possible impactors of the Earth. Mitigation strategy". Comptes Rendus Physique, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 367-374.
Chapman, C.R. 2004. "The hazard of near-Earth asteroid impacts on earth". Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 222, issue 1, pp. 1-15.
Chapman, C.R. and D. Morrison. 1994. "Impacts on the Earth by asteroids and comets: assessing the hazard". Nature, vol. 367, pp. 33-40.
Fulchignoni, M. and M.A. Barucci. 2005. "The Near Earth Objects: possible impactors of the Earth. NEO Impact Consequences and Hazards". Comptes Rendus Physique, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 283-289.
Green A, D. Whiteman, C. Frost, and D. Battistutta. 1999. "Sun Exposure, Skin Cancers and Related Skin Conditions". Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 9(no. 6 Supplement), pp. S7-S13.
Kharif, C. and E. Pelinovsky. 2005. "The Near Earth Objects: possible impactors of the Earth. Asteroid impact tsunamis". Comptes Rendus Physique, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 361-366.
Kuypers, M.M.M., R.D. Pancost, and J.S. Sinninghe Damste. 1999. "A large and abrupt fall in atmospheric CO2 concentration during Cretaceous times". Nature, vol. 399, pp. 342-345.
Mancinelli, I., A. Comparelli, P. Girardi, and R. Tatarelli. 2002. "Mass Suicide: Historical and Psychodynamic Considerations". Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, vol. 32, no. 1, pp. 91-100.
Munich Re. 2001. Topics – Annual review: Natural catastrophes 2001. Munich Re Group, Munich, Germany.
Oikarinen, A. and A. Raitio. 2000. "Melanoma and other skin cancers in circumpolar areas". International Journal of Circumpolar Health, vol. 59, no. 1, pp. 52-6.
Palmer, D.M., S. Barthelmy, N. Gehrels, R.M. Kippen, T. Cayton, C. Kouveliotou, D. Eichler, R.A.M.J. Wijers, P.M. Woods, J. Granot, Y.E. Lyubarsky, E. Ramirez-Ruiz, L. Barbier, M. Chester, J. Cummings, E.E. Fenimore, M.H. Finger, B.M. Gaensler, D. Hullinger, H. Krimm, C.B. Markwardt, J.A. Nousek, A. Parsons, S. Patel, T. Sakamoto, G. Sato, M. Suzuki, and J. Tueller. 2005. "A giant gamma-ray flare from the magnetar SGR 1806-20". Nature, vol. 434, pp. 1107-1109.
Pickering, W.H. 1919. "Meteorites and Meteors". Popular Astronomy, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 203-209.
Thuillot, W., J. Vaubaillon, H. Scholl, F. Colas, P. Rocher, M. Birlan, and J.-E. Arlot. 2005. "The Near Earth Objects: possible impactors of the Earth. Relevance of the NEO dedicated observing programs". Comptes Rendus Physique, vol. 6, no. 3, pp. 327-335.
Xie, S., R.D. Pancost, H. Yin, H. Wang, and R.P. Evershed. 2005. "Two episodes of microbial change coupled with Permo/Triassic faunal mass extinction." Nature, vol. 434, 494-497.
Yamamoto, I. 1928. "Probability of Injury by a Meteorite". Popular Astronomy, vol. 36, no. 3, pp. 207-208.
Yau, K., P. Weissman, and D. Yeomans. 1994. "Meteorite falls in China and some related human casualty events". Meteoritics, vol. 29, no. 6, pp. 864–871.
Are the sun's rays an astronomical environmental hazard?
avalanche.org lists avalanche fatality statistics for the U.S.A.
Ganju, A., N.K. Thakur, and V. Rana. 2002. "Characteristics Of Avalanche Accidents In Western Himalayan Region, India". International Snow Science Workshop, Penticton, Canada, 29 September 2002 to 4 October 2002.
Grímsdóttir, H. and D. McClung. 2006. "Avalanche Risk During Backcountry Skiing – An Analysis of Risk Factors". Natural Hazards, vol. 39, pp. 127-153.
Gürer, I., H. Tunçel, Ö. Murat Yavas, T. Erenbilge, and A. Sayin. 1995. "Snow Avalanche Incidents in North-Western Anatolia, Turkey during December 1992". Natural Hazards, vol. 11, pp. 1-16.
Johnson, S.M., A.C. Johnson, and R.G. Barton. 2001. "Avalanche trauma and closed head injury: adding insult to injury". Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, vol. 12, pp. 244-247.
Page, C.E., D. Atkins, L.W. Shockley, and M. Yaron. 1999. "Avalanche deaths in the United States: a 45-year analysis". Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, vol. 10, pp. 146-151.
Podolskiy, E.A., K. Nishimura, K. Izumi, and O.M. Yavas. 2009. "Avalanches in Turkey". Summaries of JSSI & JSSE Joint Conference on Snow and Ice Research – 2009/Sapporo, P2-07, p. 102, Sapporo, Japan, 9 September 2009 to 3 October 2009, full text (511 kb in PDF).
Podolskiy, E.A., A. Sato, and J. Komori. 2009. "Avalanche Issue in Western Himalaya, India". SEPPYO - Journal of the Japanese Society of Snow and Ice, vol. 71, no. 6, pp. 498-502, full text (562 kb in PDF).
Radwin, M.I. and C.K. Grissom. 2002. "Technological Advances in Avalanche Survival". Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, vol. 13, pp. 143-152.
Van Tilburg, C. 2003. "Preventing Avalanche and Deep Snow Submersion Deaths Using an Artificial Air Pocket Device and a Digital Dual-Antenna Avalanche Transceiver". Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, vol. 14, pp. 69-71.
Avalanches in the Southern Alps.
Earthquake deaths are perhaps the best researched of all the disasters listed here. The literature is vast--some examples are listed below--so it is more reasonable to defer to the people who already know the topic well and who have already obtained much of the relevant literature. These people include (in alphabetical order by surname) but are not limited to David Alexander, Linda Bourque, Andrew Coburn, David Dowrick, Rocky Lopes, Tracy Monk, Eric Noji, Marla Petal, Kim Shoaf, Robin Spence, and Peter Wood. Apologies to anyone left off this list.
One caution with respect to earthquakes is that, if you ever come across Doug Copp (also Douglas Copp), American Rescue Team International, or the Triangle of Life, please refer to http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/triangle.asp especially http://www.cert-la.com/RejoinderToDougCopp.pdf. The lesson, with respect to any disaster advice, is to do proper information searches and comparisons before believing self-appointed experts.
Literature on earthquake deaths which has been acquired is:
Aleskerov, F., A. Iseri Say, A. Toker, H. Levent Akin, and G. Altay. 2005. "A cluster-based decision support system for estimating earthquake damage and casualties". Disasters, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 255-276.
Alexander, D. 2000. "On the Spatial Pattern of Casualties in Earthquakes." Annals of Epidemiology, vol. 10, issue 1 (January), pp. 1-4.
Aoki, N., A. Nishimura, E.A. Pretto, K. Sugimoto, J.R. Beck, T. Fukui. 2004. "Survival and Cost Analysis of Fatalities of the Kobe Earthquake in Japan". Prehospital Emergency Care, vol. 8, no. 2 (April/June), 217-222.
Capasso, L. and L. Capasso. 1999. "Mortality in Herculaneum before volcanic eruption in 79 AD". The Lancet, vol. 354, 20 November, p. 1826.
Chan, C.-C., Y.-P. Lin, H.-H. Chen, T.-Y. Chang, T.-J. Cheng, and L.-S. Chen. 2003. "A Population-based Study on the Immediate and Prolonged Effects of the 1999 Taiwan Earthquake on Mortality". Annals of Epidemiology, vol. 13, issue 7 (August), pp. 502-508.
Chou, Y.-J., N. Huang, C.-H. Lee, S.-L. Tsa, L.-S. Chen, and H.-J. Chang. 2004. "Who Is at Risk of Death in an Earthquake?". American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 160, no. 7, pp. 688-695.
Coburn, A.W., H. Ohashi Murakami, and Y. Ohta. 1987 (December). Factors Affecting Fatalities and Injury in Earthquakes, Internal Report. Department of Architectural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.
Coburn, A.W., R.J.S. Spence, and A. Pomonis. 1992. "Factors determining human casualty levels in earthquakes: mortality prediction in building collapse", pp. 5989–5994 in Proceedings of the 10th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering, Madrid, July 1992, A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam.
Dowrick, D. and D.A. Rhoades. 2003. "Risk of casualties in New Zealand Earthquakes". In Proceedings of the 2003 Pacific Conference on Earthquake Engineering, 13-15 February 2003, Christchurch, New Zealand. New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, Wellington, New Zealand.
Glass, R.I., J.J. Urrutia, S. Sibony, H. Smith, B. Garcia, and L. Rizzo. 1977. "Earthquake Injuries Related to Housing in a Guatemalan Village". Science, vol. 197, no. 4304, pp. 638-643.
International Workshop on Earthquake Injury Epidemiology for Mitigation and Response. 1989 (10-12 July). Technical Resources, Inc., Baltimore, USA.
Kario, K. 1998. "Does earthquake-induced cardiovascular disease persist or is it suppressed after the major quake?" Comment on Kloner et al. (1997) and reply from Kloner and Leor. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol. 32, no. 2 (August), pp. 553-554. See also Kario (1998).
Kloner, R.A., J. Leor, W.K. Poole, and R. Perritt. 1997. "Population-based analysis of the effect of the Northridge Earthquake on cardiac death in Los Angeles County, California". Journal of the American College of Cardiology, vol. 30, no. 5 (1 November), pp. 1174-1180. See also Kario (1998).
Liao, Y.-H., S.-F. Lin, W.-H. Liao, J.-H. Huang, M. Shen, C.-H. Lin, and C.-H. Huang. 2005. "Deaths related to housing in 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan, Earthquake". Safety Science, vol. 43, pp. 29-37.
Macintyre, A.G., J.A. Barbera, and E.R. Smith. 2006. "Surviving Collapsed Structure Entrapment after Earthquakes: A 'Time-to-Rescue' Analysis". Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, vol. 21, no. 1., pp. 4-19 (includes an "Editorial Comment" by Steven Rottman and an "Author Reply".
Naghi, T.M., K. Kambiz, J.M. Shahriar, T. Afshin, S.K. Reza, P. Behnam, and A.H. Bahador. 2005. "Musculoskeletal injuries associated with earthquake: A report of injuries of Iran’s December 26, 2003 Bam earthquake casualties managed in tertiary referral centers" [sic], Injury, International Journal of the Care of the Injured, vol. 36, pp. 27-32.
Nakamori, Y., H. Tanaka, J. Oda, Y. Kuwagata, T. Matsuoka, and T. Yoshioka. 1997. "Burn Injuries in the 1995 Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake". Burns, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 319-322.
Osaki, Y. and M. Minowa. 2001. "Factors Associated with Earthquake Deaths in the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, 1995". American Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 153, no. 2, pp. 153-156.
Pai, C.-H., Y.M. Tien, and T.L. Teng. 2007. "A study of the human-fatality rate in near-fault regions using the Victim Attribute Database". Natural Hazards, vol. 42, pp. 19-35.
Peek-Asa, C., M.R. Ramirez, K. Shoaf, H. Seligson, and J.F. Kraus. 2000. "GIS Mapping of Earthquake-related Deaths and Hospital Admissions from the 1994 Northridge, California, Earthquake." Annals of Epidemiology, vol. 10, issue 1 (January), pp. 5-13.
Peek-Asa, C., M. Ramirez, H. Seligson, and K. Shoaf. 2003. "Seismic, Structural, and Individual Factors Associated with Earthquake-Related Injury". Injury Prevention, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 62–66.
Petal, M.A. 2004. Urban Disaster Mitigation and Preparedness: The 1999 Kocaeli Earthquake. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Urban Planning, University of California, Los Angeles.
Pollander, G.S. and D.A. Rund. 1989. "Analysis of Medical Needs in Disasters Caused by Earthquake: The Need for a Uniform Injury Reporting Scheme". Disasters, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 365-369.
Ramirez, M., M. Kano, L.B. Bourque, and K.I. Shoaf. 2005. "Child and Household Factors Associated With Fatal and Non-Fatal Pediatric Injury During the 1999 Kocaeli Earthquake". International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 129-147.
Ramirez, M. and C. Peek-Asa. 2005. "Epidemiology of Traumatic Injuries from Earthquakes". Epidemiologic Reviews, vol. 27, pp. 47-55.
Sapir, D.G. 1993. "Health Effects of Earthquakes and Volcanoes: Epidemiological and Policy Issues". Disasters, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 255-262.
Seligon, H.A. and K.I. Shoaf. 2003. "Human Impacts of Earthquakes". In W.-F. Chen and C. Scawthorn (eds.), Earthquake Engineering Handbook, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.
Spence, R.J.S. 2007. "Saving lives in earthquakes: successes and failures in seismic protection since 1960. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, vol. 5, pp. 139-251.
Spence, R.J.S., A. Pomonis, D.J. Dowrick, and W.J. Cousins. 1998. "Estimating human casualties in earthquakes: The case of Wellington", pp. 277-286 in E. Booth (ed.), Seismic Design Practice into the Next Century, Balkema, Rotterdam.
Tourist attractions in New Zealand.
Floods, Cyclones, and Other Water-Related Storms and Events
Download the list of flood mortality and drowning references (131 kb in Rich Text Format).
Water-related disasters are complex. Those with distinct causes and circumstances include:
As well, many water-related deaths do not necessarily result from a specific disaster event involving water, although definitions become tricky here. Examples (not mutually exclusive) are:
Roadside cross memorial for a victim of this low-water crossing on Upolu, Samoa.
Work on this issue, including definition and differentiation, which I have completed on this topic is reported in my summary of Researching Flood Health Issues (58 kb in Rich Text Format). Points are expanded and data are provided in:
As an example of what an individual can achieve on this issue in the field, not only for water-related lifesaving but also for international development, download Lisa Mitchell's report on Lifesaving in Bolivia (53 kb in Rich Text Format). Despite the challenges involved in setting up a lifesaving training course, "One month after the course volunteers...rescued 4 people during a swim race".
Some examples of earlier studies with methods applicable today are:
If you want to die in a flood, drive through floodwater.
Heat and Cold
Basu, R. and J.M. Samet, 2002. "Relation between Elevated Ambient Temperature and Mortality: A Review of the Epidemiologic Evidence". Epidemiologic Reviews, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 190-202.
Bosch, X. 2003. "France Announces Plan for Improved Emergency Services". The Lancet, vol. 362, p. 1208.
Dixon, P.G., D.M. Brommer, B.C. Hedquist, A.J. Kalkstein, G.B. Goodrich, J.C. Walter, C.C. Dickerson IV, S.J. Penny, and R.S. Cerveny. 2005. "Heat Mortality Versus Cold Mortality: A Study of Conflicting Databases in the United States". Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 86, no. 7, pp. 937-943.
Gouveia, N., S. Hajat, and B. Armstrong. 2003. "Socioeconomic differentials in the temperature–mortality relationship in São Paulo, Brazil". International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 32, pp. 390–397
Grynszpan, D. 2003. "Lessons from the French heatwave". The Lancet, vol. 362, pp. 1169-1170.
Keatinge, W.R., G.C. Donaldson, E. Cordioli, M. Martinelli, A.E. Kunst, J.P. Mackenbach, S. Nayha, and I. Vuori. 2000. "Heat related mortality in warm and cold regions of Europe: observational study". BMJ, vol. 321, pp. 670-673.
Kovats, R.S., S. Hajat, and P. Wilkinson. 2004. "Contrasting patterns of mortality and hospital admissions during hot weather and heat waves in Greater London, UK". Occupational and Environmental Medicine, vol. 61, pp. 893–898.
MMWR. 2005. "Heat-Related Mortality--Arizona, 1993-2002, and United States, 1979-2002". MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), vol. 54, no. 25 (1 July 2005), pp. 628-630.
MMWR. 2006. "Heat-Related Deaths - United States, 1999-2003". MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), vol. 55, no. 29 (28 July 2006), pp. 796-798.
MMWR. 2008. "Heat-Related Deaths Among Crop Workers - United States, 1992–2006". MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), vol. 57, no. 24 (20 June 2008), pp. 649-653.
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The Tornado Project is building a database of tornado events including fatalities and some descriptions of the circumstances leading to the fatalities.
Tornado shelter in the toilet at Denver International Airport. People are familiar with the room and there are no worries about emergency supplies of toilet paper. (Copyright Ilan Kelman 2006.)
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Tsunami warning sign in Riversdale, New Zealand (Copyright Ilan Kelman 2004.)
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Mt. Vesuvius in southern Italy has been the subject of several casualty studies, related to past events and future possible eruptions. (Copyright Ilan Kelman 2003.)
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