Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Information for Action? Analysis of 2005 South Asian Earthquake Reports Posted on Reliefweb

  • Johan von Schreeb (a1), Jaswinder K. Legha (a2), Niklas Karlsson (a3) and Richard Garfield (a4)

Abstract

Objective

Following a sudden-onset disaster (SOD), rapid information is needed. We assessed the relevance of information available for relief planning on a main Internet portal following a major SOD.

Methods

We reviewed all information posted on the Reliefweb Web site in the first 7 days following the 2005 South Asian earthquake using a predeveloped registration form focusing on essential indicators. These data were compared with Pakistani government figures posted by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters.

Results

A total of 820 reports were reviewed. More reports came from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs; 35%) than any other source. A total of 42% of reports addressed only national level information, while 32% specified information at the provincial level. Fewer than 12% of all reports discussed the earthquake at the more local division and district levels. Only 13 reports provided pre-earthquake estimates of the number of people living in the affected areas. A third of all reports cited a common figure of 2.5 million made homeless. These were lower than official figures of 5 million homeless. A total of 43% reported on the estimated number of deaths. The estimated number peaked on day 4 at 40 000. All of these reports were lower than official data, which reported 73 000 deaths in total.

Conclusion

Early reports heavily underestimated the number of affected, homeless, injured, and dead. Many reports repeated information provided from previous unnamed sources rather than providing unique contributions from eyewitness reports or from contextual information based on previous work in the area. Better information on predisaster essential indicators should be available and used in combination with post-SOD information to better adapt humanitarian relief and funding according to needs. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;7:251-256)

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Johan von Schreeb, MD, PhD, Division of International Health IHCAR, Nobels väg 9 Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden (e-mail Johan.von.schreeb@ki.se).

References

Hide All
1.Malilay, J. Public health assessments in disaster settings: recommendations for a multidisciplinary approach. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2000;15(4):167-172.
2.Redmond, AD, WHO. Needs assessment of humanitarian crises. BMJ. 2005;330(7503):1320-1322.
3.von Schreeb, J. Needs Assessments for International Humanitarian Health Assistance in Disasters [thesis] Stockholm, Sweden: Karolinska Institutet; 2007.
4. Good Humanitarian Donorship Initiative meeting, Stockholm, Sweden June 2003. 2007. Strengthening needs-based allocation: next steps for GHD donors. http://www.goodhumanitariandonorship.org/documents/ghd_update_april_2007.doc. Accessed October 7, 2009.
5.Mock, N, Garfield, R. Health tracking for improved humanitarian performance. Prehosp DisasterMed. 2007;22(5):377-383.
6. Sphere. Humanitarian charter and minimum standards in disaster response Web site. http://www.sphereproject.org/. Accessed October 7, 2009.
7. Standardized Monitoring Assessment of Relief and Transition Web site. http://www.smartindicators.org/. Accessed October 7, 2009.
8.Garfield, R, Skinner, P. A review of the quality of data on agency websites. Humanitarian Practice Network. http://www.odihpn.org/report.asp?id=2906. Accessed September 30, 2010.
9.Garfield, R. Measuring humanitarian emergencies. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2007;1(2):110-116.
10. EM-DAT. The International Disaster Database. Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters Web site. http://www.emdat.be/. Accessed March 30, 2010.
11. Health and Nutrition Tracking Service Web site. http://www.thehnts.org/en/home2. Accessed October 7, 2009.
12.Mills, EJ, Checchi, F, Orbinski, JJ, etal. Users’ guides to the medical literature: how to use an article about mortality in a humanitarian emergency. Confl Health. 2008;2:9.

Keywords

Information for Action? Analysis of 2005 South Asian Earthquake Reports Posted on Reliefweb

  • Johan von Schreeb (a1), Jaswinder K. Legha (a2), Niklas Karlsson (a3) and Richard Garfield (a4)

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed