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Effect of built environment on tsunami related injuries


SD Dharmarathne ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About SD
Department of Community Medicine
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K Osamu,

Nagasaki University, JP
About K
Institute of Tropical Medicine
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GMC Dehiwala,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About GMC
Department of Community Medicine
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SB Agampodi

Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences, LK
About SB
Rajarata University of Sri Lanka
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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.

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.

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.

Policies on building construction in coastal areas should be done considering these findings to mitigate the effect of future disasters.


Anuradhapura Medical Journal 2013 7(1): 5-7

How to Cite: Dharmarathne, S., Osamu, K., Dehiwala, G. and Agampodi, S., 2013. Effect of built environment on tsunami related injuries. Anuradhapura Medical Journal, 7(1), pp.5–7. DOI:
Published on 09 Oct 2013.
Peer Reviewed


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