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Disasters. 2009 Oct;33(4):705-20. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.2009.01105.x. Epub 2009 May 1.

Risk factors for mortality during the 2002 landslides in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia.

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  • 1Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer assigned to the National Center for Environmental Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA, United States.


This study examines health effects resulting from landslides in Chuuk during Tropical Storm Chata'an in July 2002, and suggests strategies to prevent future mortality. In August 2002, we conducted a cross-sectional survey to identify risk factors for mortality during landslides, which included 52 survivors and 40 surrogates for 43 decedents to identify risk factors for death. Findings suggest that 1) females had a higher mortality rate from this event than males, and 2) children aged 5-14 years had a 10-fold increase in mortality when compared with annual mortality rates from all causes. Awareness of landslides occurring elsewhere and knowledge of natural warning signs were significantly associated with lower risks of death; being outside during landslides was not associated with reduced mortality. In Chuuk, improving communication systems during tropical storms and increasing knowledge of natural warnings can reduce the risk for mortality during landslides.

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