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Disasters. 1998 Sep;22(3):218-35.

Injuries as a result of California earthquakes in the past decade.


The devastating effects of earthquakes have been demonstrated repeatedly in the past decade, through moderate and major earthquakes such as the October 1987 Whittier Narrows earthquake (5.9 on the Richter scale), the October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake (7.1) and the January 1994 Northridge earthquake (6.7). While 'official' tallies of injuries and deaths are reported for each event, the numbers vary from report to report. For Northridge, the number of injuries vary between 8,000 and 12,000; the number of deaths from 33 to 73 (Peek-Asa et al., 1997; Durkin, 1996). While official estimates are commonly reported following disasters, the study of actual numbers, types and causes of casualties has not developed. In this paper, we identify the numbers and risk factors for injuries within community-based samples across three earthquakes in urban California. We first report the numbers and types of injuries in each earthquake and then identify risk factors specifically associated with the Northridge earthquake.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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