Earthquakes – A Historical Review, Environmental and Health Effects, and Health Care Measures
Iskra Alexandra Nola
; Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Medicinski fakultet, Škola narodnog zdravlja “Andrija Štampar”, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Jagoda Doko Jelinić ; Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Medicinski fakultet, Škola narodnog zdravlja “Andrija Štampar”, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Eugenija Žuškin ; Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Medicinski fakultet, Škola narodnog zdravlja “Andrija Štampar”, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Mladen Kratohvil ; Dom zdravlja MUP, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Earthquakes are natural disasters that can occur at any time, regardless of the location. Their frequency is higher in the Circum-Pacific and Mediterranean/Trans-Asian seismic belt. A number of sophisticated methods defi ne their magnitude using the Richter scale and intensity using the Mercani-Cancani-Sieberg scale. Recorded data show a number of devastating earthquakes that have killed many people and changed the environment dramatically. Croatia is located in a seismically active area, which has endured a series of historical earthquakes, among which several occurred in the Zagreb area. The consequences of an earthquake depend mostly on the population density and seismic resistance of buildings in the affected area. Environmental consequences often include air, water, and soil pollution. The effects of this kind of pollution can have long-term health effects. The most dramatic health consequences result from the demolition of buildings. Therefore, quick and efficient aid depends on well-organized health professionals as well as on the readiness of the civil defence, fire department, and Mountain Rescue Service members. Good coordination among these services can save many lives Public health interventions must include effective control measures in the environment as secondary prevention methods for health problems caused by unfavourable environmental factors. The identifi cation and control of long-term hazards can reduce chronic health effects. The reduction of earthquake-induced damages includes setting priorities in building seismically safe buildings.
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