Most of the deaths were caused by drowning or physical trauma from debris or building collapse. Some victims who remained in the flood zone in attics or floors that were not flooded died from adverse conditions associated with extended exposure including dehydration, heat stroke, heart attacks, strokes or other conditions associated with lack of medical supplies.
In all, 518 out of the analyzed 771 deaths in New Orleans resulted from direct exposure to the flooding, according to the results of the study “Loss of Life Caused by the Flooding of New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina: Analysis of the Relationship Between Flood Characteristics and Mortality,” which is reported in the May issue of the peer-reviewed journal Risk Analysis, published by the Society for Risk Analysis.
Another 106 deaths were indirect and occurred in public shelters and hospitals in the flooded area. These fatalities were due to lack of necessary medical services, chronic conditions, stress-induced heart attacks or strokes or violence, according to Sebastiaan Jonkman at the University of Delft in The Netherlands and co-authors from Louisiana State University (LSU). The remaining 147 deaths occurred outside of the flooded area. Jonkman and his colleagues found that disease and toxic contamination caused by the flooding did not contribute significantly to the fatality rate.
Mortality rates were highest in areas near levee breaches, particularly the severe breaches in the Lower 9th Ward where flooding occurred extremely rapidly and the velocity of the water caused drowning and collapsed buildings.
The research team describes their results as preliminary because the mortality data are incomplete and some of the flooding characteristics are based on simulations. However, they believe that despite the limitations, the results provide important insights into the relationship between flood characteristics and mortality. In particular, contrary to current theory, they found that the Katrina flood was very comparable to historical large-scale floods, including the number of people killed. “Overall, the available data for New Orleans do not support the claim that mortality among those exposed during a contemporary flood event is lower than during historical events,” Jonkman explained.
Based on this study, he said that “more specific disaster management strategies are needed to target elderly populations and that the direct impacts of large flooding events can be reduced with improved preparation of health care facilities and systems in and outside of flood-prone areas.”
Source: Sebastiaan N. Jonkman, email@example.com
Kelly Classic | Newswise Science News
Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy