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To describe social participation strategies and resilience in the people affected by the 2017 earthquakes in Mexico.
A cross-sectional study was carried out with 1504 participants from Mexico City, State of Mexico, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla, and Morelos in November and December 2017. A nonprobabilistic convenience sampling method was used to recruit voluntary participants who met the inclusion criteria: age 18 or over and residents in damaged states at the time of the earthquakes. Postearthquake social participation strategies were assessed with the formats used in the postearthquake Chilean survey in 2010. The Spanish-validated version of the resilience scale RS-14 was applied for measuring resilience in the Mexican population.
The most frequent social participation strategies were related to emotional support and aid supplying water, food, and clothing. The highest resilience was observed in the state of Oaxaca and in Mexico City. Men, people age 40 or over, and people who defined themselves as indigenous were the most resilient.
Factors related to resilience were male gender, age over 40, did not participate in activities of help to the community, no household damage, and belonging to an indigenous community.
Focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) has been incorporated into the initial evaluation of trauma for decades. It is an important screening tool in the detection of intra-abdominal fluid. The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review of the use and accuracy of FAST as an imaging tool for blunt abdominal trauma in disaster/mass casualty settings. A systematic review of literature was conducted using key words and search terms. Two independent reviewers screened abstracts to determine inclusion using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS). For studies passing QUADAS, a meta-analysis was performed calculating sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV). FAST results were compared with the gold standard, which was a combination of CT scan results, operative findings, and medical records of the clinical course. Initial database screening resulted in 133 articles, of which 21 were selected for QUADAS evaluation. Five studies passed QUADAS and were selected in the final meta-analysis, with a total of 4263 patients. The sensitivity of FAST was 92.1% (87.8–95.6), specificity 98.7% (96.0–99.9), PPV 90.7% (70.0–98.0), and NPV 98.8% (98.1–99.5) for the detection of intra-abdominal injury. In our meta-analysis, FAST was both sensitive and specific in the evaluation of trauma in the disaster setting.
Natural disasters, particularly earthquakes, in addition to physical complications, have always had psychological consequences for those affected by them. Stuttering is one of the psychological consequences of shocking events. After a 6.6 magnitude earthquake in Hojedk, Kerman, Iran, two 5-year-old children and a 4-year-old child with symptoms of discontinuous speech (including repeated sound, syllable, and words) were referred to the Kerman Welfare Organization’s rehabilitation center (Kerman, Iran). After history-taking, it became clear that the children had begun to stutter after the earthquake due to fear and stress. Considering the importance of negative emotional experiences in the onset of stuttering, it cannot really be said with certainty that the negative experience of the earthquake initiated the stuttering. Rather, the stuttering had not been present before the earthquake and appeared after the event. These cases indicate the importance of psychosocial support and speech therapy after disasters, especially for children that have higher psychological vulnerability than other age groups.
We analyze the impact of earthquakes on nighttime lights at a sub-national level, i.e., on grids of different size. We argue that existing studies on the impact of natural disasters on economic development have several important limitations, both at the level of the outcome variable as well as at the level of the independent variable, e.g., the timing of an event and the measuring of its intensity. We aim to overcome these limitations by using geophysical event data on earthquakes together with satellite nighttime lights. Using panel fixed effects regressions covering the entire world for the period 1992–2013, we find that earthquakes reduce both light growth rates and light levels significantly. The effects persist for approximately 5 years, but we find no long-run effects. Effects are stronger the smaller the area of a unit of observation. National institutions and economic conditions are relevant moderating factors.
Italy is prone to major earthquakes and has experienced several devastating earthquakes in the far and recent past. The objectives of this study were to assess the level of Italian households’ preparedness for earthquakes and to measure the public’s perception of the risk and its impact on preparedness behavior.
Italian households’ preparedness for earthquakes is insufficient and is influenced by different threat perception components that were assessed.
A cross-sectional study, using an online questionnaire, was conducted in early 2018. The sample included 1,093 responders from a diverse sociodemographic background. The primary outcome was the Preparedness Index (PI), a score indicating the number of preparedness actions complied-with out of 10.
The PI’s mean was 5.26 (SD = 2.17). The recommendation most complied-with was keeping a flashlight at home (87.7%) and the least was securing the kitchen cupboards (15.1%). The PI was positively correlated with a higher sense of preparedness (r = 0.426; P <.001). The PI was higher for responders residing in high-seismic-risk areas and those who experienced a major earthquake before. The predictors of PI were: gender, age, prior experience, sense of preparedness, searching for information, and threat intrusiveness (negatively).
The findings demonstrate a medium-level of preparedness; however, this might be circumstantial. Italians perceive major earthquakes to be unlikely, yet severe if and when they do occur. A validated tool in Italian now exists and can be used in future studies.
Bodas M, Giuliani F, Ripoll-Gallardo A, Caviglia M, Dell’Aringa MF, Linty M, Della Corte F, Ragazzoni L. Threat perception and public preparedness for earthquakes in Italy. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2019;34(2):114–124
Earthquakes may lead to a reaction to severe stress and adjustment disorders (RSSAD). On September 7, 19, and 23, 2017, Mexico was struck by many severe earthquakes. The aim of this study was to examine whether there was an increase in the number of consultations and RSSAD in a psychiatric emergency department in Mexico City after these earthquakes.
We studied retrospectively the diagnosis and triage assessment from a Mexican psychiatric emergency department database from September 1 to November 30, 2017, and analyzed RSSAD and the number of consultations after the earthquakes.
A total of 1,811 psychiatric emergency consultations were registered from the period of study. A total of 141 consultations represented RSSAD. There was a significant increase of RSSAD after the September 23, 2017, earthquake. The triage assessment revealed that the urgency of the consultations was higher immediately after the earthquakes.
Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, may trigger diverse RSSAD leading to increased emergency consultations, especially when those disasters are repetitive. Mental health professionals should be adequately trained and sensitized for possible acute disaster victims. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;page 1 of 5).
The aim of this study was to analyze retrospectively the earthquake-induced injuries caused by the October 2015 Hindu Kush earthquake in Pakistan. This is the first population-based study to assess epidemiologically earthquake-induced injuries in the Hindu Kush region, one of the world’s most mountainous and seismically active regions. Unfortunately, only limited studies have investigated the earthquake-induced injuries and deaths in the region epidemiologically.
The 5 worst affected districts were selected according to the highest number of deaths and injuries recorded. A total of 1,790 injuries and 232 deaths were reported after the 2015 earthquake. In our study area, 391 persons were recorded and verified to have been injured as a result of the earthquake. We attempted to investigate all of the 391 injured people, but the final study looked at 346 subjects because the remaining 45 subjects could not be traced because of the non-availability of their complete records and their refusal to participate in the study.
Using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD 10), we found that the highest number – 20.23% (70 of 346) – of injuries in the earthquake fall in the class of “Injuries to an unspecified part of trunk, limb, or body region (T08-T14).” The class of “Injuries to knee and lower leg (S80-S89),” which count 15.61% (54 out of 346), followed it, and “Injuries involving multiple body regions (T00-T07)” were making 14.74% of total injuries (51 out of 346).
In times of natural disasters like earthquakes, collecting and analyzing real-time data can be challenging. Therefore, a retrospective data analysis of deaths and injuries induced by the earthquake is of high importance. Studies in these emerging domains will be crucial to initiate health policy debates and to prevent and mitigate future injuries and deaths. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;page 1 of 8).
The objective of the study was to research the basic seismic response capability (BSRC) of hospitals in Lima Metropolitana. A large number of wounded could be registered in case of an earthquake; therefore, operational hospitals are necessary to cure the injured. The study focused on the operational performance of the hospitals, autonomies of essential resources such as power, water, medical gases, and medicine, in addition to the availability of emergency communication system and ambulances.
Data by a probabilistic seismic risk analysis have been used to assess the operational level of the hospitals. Subsequently, availability of an essential resource has been combined with the immediately operational hospitals to evaluate the BSRC of the health facilities.
Forty-one of Lima’s hospitals have been analyzed for a seismic event with 72-100 years of a return period. Three hospitals (7.3%) were capable to work in a self-sufficient manner for 72 hours, another three (7.3%) for 24 hours, and one (2.4%) for 12 hours.
Results showed a low performance of the hospitals in case of an earthquake. The issue is due to the high seismic vulnerability of the existing structures. Given the importance of Lima city in Peru, structural and nonstructural retrofitting plans should be implemented to improve the preparedness of the health system in case of an emergency. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2019;13:138–143)
Shaking and damage in the province of Groningen, the Netherlands, resulting from production-induced seismicity has caused increased public anxiety. Since 2014, production offtake has been reduced stepwise by over 50% in an attempt to minimise production-induced seismicity. The earthquake catalogue, combined with comprehensive data of the changes in production offtake, shows a clear response of seismic activity following the production measures taken. Associated temporal variations in the proportionality between smaller- and larger-magnitude events (the b-value of the Gutenberg–Richter relation) are observed. Since production measures were imposed, the b-value has tended to increase, thus lowering the probability of a larger-magnitude event. The analysis also shows increases in activity rate and b-value prior to larger-magnitude events. Subsequently, the probability of a larger-magnitude event seems to be decreasing prior to the events occurring. This implies that for short-term earthquake prediction of hydrocarbon-production-induced seismicity, these types of analysis could be misleading. However, regional analysis is necessary to explain the observations in terms of rupture initiation. At present, each event felt still draws the interest of both public and press. As some clustering of events in both time and space is still observed, managing both the seismicity and the public perception provides a continuing challenge.
The needs of people with disabilities are not taken into account during disasters, and there is no or little preparation for them. Hence, such people are very anxious about their personal safety during disasters. The aim of this study was to explain the safety needs of people with disabilities during earthquakes.
This qualitative study was conducted with purposive sampling. A total of 12 people with movement disability, aged between 18 and 60 years, and with an experience of facing earthquakes, participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis was used.
The safety needs of people with disabilities were categorized into three phases: those before an earthquake were considering building codes and resistant construction, building safe and resistant-to-climate-change shelters, and securing the room at the home and workplace; that during an earthquake was the existence of personal protection facilities; and those after an earthquake were adaptation of bathrooms in secure areas, prioritizing conex containers instead of tents, and sheltering in a safe and vermin-free area.
The sudden death of people with disabilities during disasters is preventable through proper planning and preparedness of emergency personnel. Hence, identifying the safety needs of these people and inclusion of such plans in disasters management systems can assure safety for people with disabilities during disasters. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:615–621)
Disasters in countries with limited resources can put the emergency preparedness of the country to the test. The first major task after a disaster is to take care of the wounded. In countries where the epidemiological transition has occurred, chronic disease can place a major strain on public health preparedness after a disaster. The purpose of this field report is to alert public health practitioners of an infrequently reported public health problem: the impact of natural disasters on adherence to chronic medications. In our experience, the most common complaint in the weeks that followed the 2016 earthquake was not having access to their chronic medications. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018; 12: 291–295)
Local health facilities play a critical role in mitigating the deterioration of health after catastrophic disasters. However, limited information is available on clinic damage. Therefore, the National Institute of Public Health conducted surveillance on clinic damage after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) to identify risk factors.
A cross-sectional study using a paper-based questionnaire was conducted that targeted 728 clinics located in coastal areas in the 3 prefectures most affected by the GEJE.
The risk of building damage was inversely correlated with distance from the coast, whereas the risk of ceasing operations was significantly correlated with building damage and some specialties of clinics, namely, internal medicine and pediatrics.
In mountainous countries like Japan, clinics often need to be built in coastal areas, where the majority of residents live. This surveillance revealed that clinics built in readily accessible locations and that provide care with high needs are more likely to get damaged by tsunamis. As clinics are often the frontline health facilities in disaster settings, local disaster plans need to include plans to reinforce disaster preparedness among clinics. For effective planning and resource allocation, nationwide hazard vulnerability analysis using a global standard will be helpful. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018; 12: 291–295)
The February 2010 earthquake and tsunamis destroyed 80% of the coastal town of Dichato, Chile, displacing over 400 families for nearly 4 years. The coalition Recupera Chile (RC) participated in the town’s integrated recovery process from January 2011 to the present with a focus on children’s mental health. The multidisciplinary RC coalition emphasized community-led post-disaster recovery, economic capacity rebuilding, and community health promotion (www.recuperachile.org). RC’s child health team fostered partnerships between the local elementary school, health clinic, Universidad de Concepcion, and Boston Children’s Hospital. The team responded to priorities identified by the town with a three-pronged approach of (1) case management, (2) resource development, and (3) monitoring and evaluation. This work resulted in the development of a model school-based program: La Escuela Basada en Realidad, which encompassed (1) health and mental health, (2) language and literacy, and (3) love of the sea. Post-disaster programs targeting mental health require a multi-year approach that extends beyond the completion of the physical reconstruction. Recovery is an organic process that cannot be prescripted and depends on solutions that emerge from the community. Finally, partnerships between schools and universities can foster resiliency and sustainability of programs for children and families. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:633–636)
Maximum time-to-rescue has been studied accurately for many earthquakes in the years 1985-2004. No study is available for historical quakes.
This study aimed to evaluate long-term survivors (from the fifth day after the quake) of the Messina-Reggio Calabria earthquake (1908; Italy), which is considered, historically, to be the worst seismic event in Europe.
Accurate readings of 11 national newspapers from the fifth day after the quake looking for rescued persons and transferring, to an ad hoc form, all data relating to each rescued person.
The maximum time-to rescue was 20 days. There were 225 survivors, among them 51 children (22.6 %). For 23 out 225 rescued persons, there was evidence of availability of foods and drinkable fluids while under the rubble.
The maximum time-to-rescue under the debris following this historical earthquake far exceeds that of all other quakes that occurred in the years 1985-2004. The long survival under debris was probably due to the lack of an order to stop search and rescue. Recent strategies reducing the time for search and rescue carry the risk of missing survivors.
De SantoNG, BisacciaC, De SantoLS. Maximum Time-to-Rescue After the 1908 Messina-Reggio Calabria Earthquake was 20 Days: Hints for Disaster Planning?Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(3):249–252.
The tapered (or generalized) Pareto distribution, also called the modified Gutenberg-Richter law, has been used to model the sizes of earthquakes. Unfortunately, maximum likelihood estimates of the cutoff parameter are substantially biased. Alternative estimates for the cutoff parameter are presented, and their properties discussed.
To retrospectively analyze the rescue and treatment of pediatric patients by the Chinese Red Cross medical team during the Nepal earthquake relief.
The medical team set up a field hospital; the pediatric clinic consisted of 1 pediatrician and several nurses. Children younger than 18 years old were placed in the pediatric clinic for injury examination and treatment.
During the 7-day period of medical assistance (the second to third week after the earthquake), a total of 108 pediatric patients were diagnosed and treated, accounting for 2.8% of the total patients. The earthquake-related injuries mainly required surgical dressing and debridement. No severe limb fractures or traumatic brain injuries were found. Infection of the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract, and the skin were the most common ailments, accounting for 42.3%, 18.5%, and 16.7%, respectively, of the total treated patients.
Two to 3 weeks after the earthquake, the admitted pediatric patients mainly displayed respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. When developing a rescue plan and arranging medical resources, we should consider the necessity of treating non–disaster-related conditions. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;page 1 of 4)
Topographic and morphologic models based on detailed Digital Elevation Models (DEM) of the Rur Graben, in particular a 33 km section of the Rurrand Fault, proved to be essential in preliminary investigations for the site selection of a trench for detailed paleoseismological investigations. The entire DEM in the 33 km Jülich-Düren area displayed as a color-shaded terrain map clearly illustrates the main features of the eastern border fault of the Rur Graben. As investigations concentrated on the 8x6 km Stetternich-Hambach section of the Rurrand fault, the use of contoured topographic, gray-shaded terrain and terrain slope maps helped delineate the main features of the surface fault expression. On the basis of topographic profiles constructed from the DEM, no fault scarp could be identified; however, the detailed surveying results from two geophysical profiles correlated well with the topographic data.
In northwest Europe the pattern of earthquake distribution is correlated with known Quaternary faults. Excavation of fault scarps revealed that these fault zones have been active during the Late Pleistocene. In this paper we present the results of an exploratory trenching study across the Geleen Fault, part of the Feldbiss Fault Zone, the Netherlands. Middle Saalian fluvial deposits of the Meuse, overlain by local slope deposits, were excavated. The Geleen Fault has displaced the fluvial deposits by at least 5 meters. The upper layers of local slope deposits could be correlated across the fault and were all dated at approximately 15 ka B.P. This gives the opportunity to reconstruct the sequence of events that occurred about 15 ka ago. Liquefactions provide evidence for an earthquake event. However, the main offset along the Geleen Fault is not stratigraphically related to the liquefactions. The liquefactions and the fault offset are stratigraphically separated by a period of erosion. We therefore propose a sequence of events starting with an earthquake accompanied by liquefaction, followed by a period of postseismic displacement with high rates compared to the long-term average. After this period normal displacement rates occurred, comparable to the long-term average. The duration of the period of high displacement rates could not be determined.
The Amer fault is a 30 km long normal fault, which generated the damaging earthquakes of March and May 1427. Triangular facets, wine glass drainage basins, alluvial fans and scarps along the Amer fault mountain front provide evidence of its recent activity. Topographic profiling, electrical logging, tomographic and high-resolution seismic profiling along the northern segment of the Amer fault showed the following: i) no evidence of surface deformation in recent deposits; ii) fault scarps produced by the Amer fault located only on old alluvial fans, probably Pleistocene in age, and iii) Amer fault related deformation reaching upper Quaternary levels, but not the uppermost horizons. The high sedimentation rate (nearly one order of magnitude greater than the fault slip rate) due to the filling of the lake, which resulted from the damming of the Fluvià river by the Bosc de Tosca lava flow (17,000 yr BP), can account for the absence of surface deformation on Holocene sediments.
The present study aimed to investigate the effect of the socioeconomic status and interpersonal trust of elderly victims of the Ya’an earthquake on their ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs).
Random sampling was done in the 8 counties of Ya’an in Sichuan, China (N=691). A multistage random sampling method was used. Samples were selected from counties, towns, and villages, respectively. The Faith in People Scale was used to measure interpersonal trust, and the Barthel ADL Index was used to measure ADLs. Both scales have strong reliability.
A total of 37.34% of elderly earthquake victims relied on others moderately to live, and their self-rating of interpersonal trust was relatively unfavorable. Factors such as being female, being widowed, having a low educational level, and income negatively affected ADLs, among which education had the greatest influence. Interpersonal trust was vital in enhancing the level of ADLs of elderly victims.
A high level of interpersonal trust can significantly improve the ADLs of elderly persons. However, this may be achieved by weakening the negative effect of deteriorating social structure of victims. Attention should be focused on elderly victims whose social network worsens to improve their ADLs. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;page 1 of 7)