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Earthquake-Induced Injuries: Retrospective Epidemiological Analysis of the 2015 Hindu Kush Earthquake in Pakistan

  • Junaid Ahmad (a1), Mokbul Morshed Ahmad (a2) and Elena Espigares Rodríguez (a3)

Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study was to analyze retrospectively the earthquake-induced injuries caused by the October 2015 Hindu Kush earthquake in Pakistan. This is the first population-based study to assess epidemiologically earthquake-induced injuries in the Hindu Kush region, one of the world’s most mountainous and seismically active regions. Unfortunately, only limited studies have investigated the earthquake-induced injuries and deaths in the region epidemiologically.

Methods

The 5 worst affected districts were selected according to the highest number of deaths and injuries recorded. A total of 1,790 injuries and 232 deaths were reported after the 2015 earthquake. In our study area, 391 persons were recorded and verified to have been injured as a result of the earthquake. We attempted to investigate all of the 391 injured people, but the final study looked at 346 subjects because the remaining 45 subjects could not be traced because of the non-availability of their complete records and their refusal to participate in the study.

Results

Using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision (ICD 10), we found that the highest number – 20.23% (70 of 346) – of injuries in the earthquake fall in the class of “Injuries to an unspecified part of trunk, limb, or body region (T08-T14).” The class of “Injuries to knee and lower leg (S80-S89),” which count 15.61% (54 out of 346), followed it, and “Injuries involving multiple body regions (T00-T07)” were making 14.74% of total injuries (51 out of 346).

Conclusion

In times of natural disasters like earthquakes, collecting and analyzing real-time data can be challenging. Therefore, a retrospective data analysis of deaths and injuries induced by the earthquake is of high importance. Studies in these emerging domains will be crucial to initiate health policy debates and to prevent and mitigate future injuries and deaths. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;page 1 of 8).

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Mr Junaid Ahmad, Department of Development and Sustainability, Disaster Preparedness, Mitigation and Management, Asian Institute of Technology, Khlong Luang, 12120, Pathumthani, Thailand (e-mail: Junaid.ahmad@ait.asia)

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