Open Journal of Safety Science and Technology

Volume 2, Issue 4 (December 2012)

ISSN Print: 2162-5999   ISSN Online: 2162-6006

Google-based Impact Factor: 1.30  Citations  

Deaths and Hospital Injuries Due to the 1999 Taiwan Earthquake

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DOI: 10.4236/ojsst.2012.24019    4,558 Downloads   6,975 Views  Citations


To assess risk factors associated with deaths and injuries in a major earthquake area. First, we used the official data including 824 seismic deaths, 271 serious injuries, and 302 moderate injuries to elucidate and compare the demographic, structural, and injury characteristics among the three groups. Secondly, a population based case-control study was conducted to examine how structural factors, medical assistance, personal characteristic, and behavior and preparedness contributed to injury. The age-specific proportions of the three groups were similar and higher in the elderly population. Severity of injuries was proportional to the proportion of completely collapsed houses. Fracture was the most frequently observed among the serious injuries and moderate injuries. Head injury was the major body site caused by the collapsed houses for the seismic deaths. In a case-control study, people who were trapped (adjusted OR = 12.31, 95% CI: 6.29 - 24.28) had the greatest risk of serious injuries, followed by those who were illiterate, in completely collapsed houses, and experienced unprepared flares. This study reveals that improvement in anti-seismic construction, head protect, and literacy education could decrease the effect of disaster. Further, using a flashlight to see in the dark, and moving slowly rather than running should be rigorously recommended as common-sense responses.

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Y. Liao, "Deaths and Hospital Injuries Due to the 1999 Taiwan Earthquake," Open Journal of Safety Science and Technology, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2012, pp. 147-158. doi: 10.4236/ojsst.2012.24019.

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