How is drowning associated with natural disasters?

Updated: Jun 19, 2019
  • Author: G Patricia Cantwell, MD, FCCM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Answer

Drowning is a well-recognized complication of natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, which produce tidal waves (tsunamis) and flooding. A study of loss of life from Hurricane Katrina analyzed 771 fatalities. Most involved elderly individuals and were caused by drowning due to the direct physical impact of flooding. Mortality was highest near severe levee breaches where water was moving at rapid velocity and in areas with increased water depth. [18]


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