Background Built environment is a major determinant in injuries and deaths during natural disasters. Purpose of the present paper was to study the effect of built environment on tsunami injuries.
Methods A retrospective residential cohort was constructed one month after the tsunami, based on the cross sectional household survey. Household structure was categorised as a binary variable based on the definition used department of census and statistics for the census.
Results The constructed cohort consisted of 4178 individuals, 2143 (51.3%) males and 2034 (48.7%) females from 1047 households. Mean age of the study sample was 25 years with a standard deviation of 17 years. Out of the 4178 study units studied, 43 (1.1%) died during the acute incidence and 19(0.5%) died later due to complications. Twenty eight (0.7%) people were reported missing at the time of data collection. Moderate to severe injuries were reported by 508 individuals (12.5%). To investigate the injury incidence all tsunami related deaths, missing personals and injuries were classified in to a single group as injuries. Reported number of injuries were 302 (14.4%), and 296 (14.9%) among males and females respectively. In multivariate analysis, living in a temporary shelter (OR=0.259, 95% CI 0.351-0.797) shown a protective effect on injuries whereas, residing within the 100 meter boundary from sea (OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.1-1.8) and destruction of house (OR 1.53 95% CI 1.14-2.07) were predictors of injuries.
Conclusion Policies on building construction in coastal areas should be done considering these findings to mitigate the effect of future disasters.
Dharmarathne S, Osamu K, Dehiwala G, Agampodi S. Effect of built environment on tsunami related injuries. Anuradhapura Medical Journal. 2013;7(1):5–7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/amj.v7i1.6134
Dharmarathne, S., Osamu, K., Dehiwala, G., & Agampodi, S. (2013). Effect of built environment on tsunami related injuries. Anuradhapura Medical Journal, 7(1), 5–7. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/amj.v7i1.6134