Salud Pública de México

Earthquakes and their environmental, medical and public health impacts

Iskra Alexandra Nola


Earthquakes are probably the scariest among the natural disasters that teach us about the forces of nature and their unpredictability. Knowing that there is nothing we can do to prevent the occurrence of an earthquake, we are forced to learn from our own experience. This paper systematizes the environmental, medical and public health impacts of earthquakes. Each is presented in a structured way, highlighting its most important aspects. The relationship between them and the affected environment and population; as well as the connection between these are emphasized during earthquakes. The environment at the place of occurrence of an earthquake is important for the survival of victims and also defines the particular medical and public health needs arising from its specificity. Every country needs good disaster management with specific protocols for the expected type of disaster. These protocols must incorporate environmental, medical and public health aspects and their implementation must be very efficient; they must include educating the inhabitants; training teams involved in rescue, (eventual) migration/evacuation, medical treatments and public health actions, and training and educating leaders.

Palabras clave

earthquake; environmental impacts; medical impacts; protocols;public health impacts

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Salud Pública de México es una publicación periódica electrónica, bimestral, publicada por el Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (con domicilio en Avenida Universidad núm. 655, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329-3000, página web,, con ISSN: 1606-7916 y Reserva de Derechos al Uso Exclusivo con número: 04-2012-071614550600-203, ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor. Editor responsable: Carlos Oropeza Abúndez. Responsable de la versión electrónica: Subdirección de Comunicación Científica y Publicaciones, Avenida Universidad núm. 655, planta baja, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329 3000. Fecha de última modificación: 7 de junio de 2018. D.R. © por el sitio: Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública.

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