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Int J Health Serv. 1999;29(2):459-62.

The politics of "natural" disaster: who made Mitch so bad?


The devastation in Central America following the 1998 hurricane (Hurricane Mitch) resulted more from economic and political policies than from "natural" disaster. Over the last 30 or 40 years, huge numbers of poor people in these countries have been forced off good, stable agricultural land onto degraded hillsides and into shanty towns constructed on floodplains--areas known to pose serious hazards of flooding and mudslides. This, together with the failure of impoverished countries to anticipate disaster through mass evacuations or to respond effectively to the hurricane's widespread damage--ensured the loss of thousands of lives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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