Journal Article

Analysis of Worldwide Earthquake Mortality using Multivariate Demographic and Seismic Data

E. Gutiérrez, F. Taucer, T. De Groeve, D. H. A. Al-Khudhairy and J. M. Zaldivar

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 161, issue 12, pages 1151-1158
Published in print June 2005 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online June 2005 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Analysis of Worldwide Earthquake Mortality using Multivariate Demographic and Seismic Data

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In this paper, mortality in the immediate aftermath of an earthquake is studied on a worldwide scale using multivariate analysis. A statistical method is presented that analyzes reported earthquake fatalities as a function of a heterogeneous set of parameters selected on the basis of their presumed influence on earthquake mortality. The ensemble was compiled from demographic, seismic, and reported fatality data culled from available records of past earthquakes organized in a geographic information system. The authors consider the statistical relation between earthquake mortality and the available data ensemble, analyze the validity of the results in view of the parametric uncertainties, and propose a multivariate mortality analysis prediction method. The analysis reveals that, although the highest mortality rates are expected in poorly developed rural areas, high fatality counts can result from a wide range of mortality ratios that depend on the effective population size.

Keywords: demography; mortality; multivariate analysis; natural disasters; GDP, gross domestic product; USGS, US Geological Survey

Journal Article.  4998 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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