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Journal of Earthquakes
Volume 2014, Article ID 720930, 11 pages
Research Article

Ratio of the Dead to Wounded (D/W) Indicators and Associated Factors in Major Earthquakes of America from 1960 to 2011

1Spanish Field Epidemiology Training Program (SFETP), National Centre for Epidemiology, Carlos III Health Institute, Calle Monforte De Lemos 5, 28029 Madrid, Spain
2Institute of Public Goods and Policies (IPP), Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), Madrid, Spain
3Epidemiologic Surveillance Analysis, National Centre for Epidemiology, Carlos III Health Institute, Madrid, Spain
4Consortium for Biomedical Research Network in Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid, Spain
5Pan American Health Organization, World Health Organization, WA, USA
6Doctoral Program in Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Received 7 July 2014; Revised 2 September 2014; Accepted 16 September 2014; Published 21 October 2014

Academic Editor: Yuan Gao

Copyright © 2014 A. Ayuso-Alvárez et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The paper presented deals with the casualties, mortality, and morbidity occurred during the major earthquakes of America during a period of 51 years. The work provides statistical evidence that the deaths/wounded (D/W) ratio used for many agencies in the planning of the preparation and response activities to earthquakes does not fit the relation 1 : 3. In addition, a model is presented in order to evaluate the possible association between different analysis variables such as the subregion of the American continent affected, population density, HDI, and the time and magnitude of the earthquake and the effects of these on the death toll, the number of the wounded, and the D/W indexes. Although the model generated it is not robust enough for decision making, it could be useful and improvable in order to apply it in the planning and management of these kinds of natural disasters. For these reasons, we think that it would be interesting to do further progress in this line of research by making a more comprehensive study of the variables associated with mortality and morbidity, using a more representative sample of earthquakes that sure will confirm the results presented in this work.