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close this bookHumanitarian Assistance in Disaster Situations:A Guide for Effective Aid (Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) / OrganizaciĆ³n Panamericana de la Salud (OPS), 1999, 20 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
Open this folder and view contentsInternational Health Relief Assistance: Benefit or Burden?
View the documentPrinciples of Humanitarian Assistance
View the documentObtaining International Disaster Relief
View the documentAfter a Disaster Occurs, Do...
View the documentDiscourage Sending...
View the documentConsult Further About Donations of...
View the documentMyths and Realities of Natural Disasters
View the documentEffects of Natural Disasters on Health
View the documentAnnex 1: SUMA
View the documentAnnex 2: Pan American Health Organization. Disaster Contacts
View the documentBack Cover

Effects of Natural Disasters on Health

The effects of disasters on health differ according to the type of disaster, the economic and political situation in the affected country, and degree to which its infrastructure is developed.

Effect

Earthquakes

High winds
(w/out flooding)

Tidal waves/
flash floods

Slow-onset floods

Landslides

Volcanoes/ Lahars


Deaths

Many

Few

Many

Few

Many

Many

Severe injuries requiring extensive treatment

Many

Moderate

Few

Few

Few

Few

Increasing risk of communicable diseases

Potential risk following all major disasters

(Probability rises with overcrowding and deteriorating sanitation)

Damage to health facilities

Severe (structure and) equipment)

Severe

Severe but localized

Severe
(equipment only)

Severe but localized

Severe (structure and equipment)

Damage to water systems

Severe

Light

Severe

Light

Severe but localized

Severe

Food shortage

(may occur due to economic and logistic factors)

Common

Common

Rare

Rare

Major population movements

Rare (may occur in heavily damaged urban areas)

Common (generally limited)