Between 1998 and 2017 climate-related and geophysical disasters killed 1.3 million people and left a further 4.4 billion injured, homeless, displaced or in need of emergency assistance. While the majority of fatalities were due to geophysical events, mostly earthquakes and tsunamis, 91% of all disasters were caused by floods, storms, droughts, heatwaves and other extreme weather events.
UN 20-year review: earthquakes and tsunamis kill more people while climate change is driving up economic losses
Background and objective: Understanding how natural disasters affect their victims is key to improve prevention and mitigation. Typhoon Haiyan strongly hit the Philippines in 2013. In Leyte, health staff of two hospitals had a key role as responders, but also as victims. Scarce literature is available on how health staff may be affected when being disasters' victims. We therefore aimed to understand Haiyan's impact for health staff at personal and work level.
Amongst natural disasters, earthquakes are one of the most lethal kinds due to their unpredictable nature and devastating impact they can have in a matter of seconds. They can occur anywhere, at any time and impact differently depending on their magnitude, the season, the built environment, the time of day, causing a wide range of potential consequences on population. This make them a matter of political and humanitarian concern for health practitioners, policymakers and the hazard management community.