Estimating Mortality in the Aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami

Elizabeth Frankenberg, Duke University
Thomas Gillespie, University of California, Los Angeles
Bondan Sikoki, SurveyMETER

On December 26, 2004 the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake occurred in the Indian Ocean. Estimates suggest that worldwide casualties number around a quarter of a million people, with deaths in Indonesia accounting for over two thirds of total mortality. In this paper we focus on the impact of the tsunami on mortality levels and patterns in Aceh, Indonesia. We will analyze data from a longitudinal survey of some 40,000 individuals. The data (from the Study of the Tsunami Aftermath and Recovery, or STAR) provide an unprecedented opportunity to examine the impact of this natural disaster on mortality in far more detail than is typically possible. Additionally, we can combine the STAR data with other sources of information and construct an estimate of total tsunami-induced mortality with a much higher degree of accuracy than can be done with data on body counts.

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Presented in Session 22: Health and Environment