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J Korean Soc Emerg Med > Volume 32(1); 2021 > Article
Journal of The Korean Society of Emergency Medicine 2021;32(1): 49-60.
국지적 재난 개념의 관점에서 본 과거 우리나라 재난의 역학적 특성
인제대학교 의과대학 서울백병원 응급의학과
Epidemiological characteristics of disasters in past Korea based on the concept of mass casualty incidents
Chu Hyun Kim
Department of Emergency Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence  Chu Hyun Kim ,Tel: 02-2270-0429, Fax: 02-2270-0586, Email: juliannnn@hanmail.net,
Received: November 27, 2020; Revised: December 17, 2020   Accepted: January 5, 2021.  Published online: February 26, 2021.
The aim of this study was to investigate the epidemiological characteristics of disasters to analyze typical disasters in Korea based on the concept of mass casualty incidents (MCIs).
We reviewed literature from data sources including the National Emergency Management Agency, the National Police Agency, and other agencies. We analyzed cases of MCIs to investigate their epidemiological characteristics such as natural disasters, types of man-made disasters, incidence, casualties, and mortalities by descriptive methods.
From 1985 to 2012, the incidence of man-made MCIs (4,827,893 cases) with the number of the deceased at 160,908 was higher than that of natural disasters (532 cases) with the number of deceased at 4,129. These included 219 cases (41.0%) of heavy rains with the number of deceased at 2,067 (50.1%), 161 cases (30.1%) of gales with the deceased numbering 64 (1.6%), 58 cases (10.9%) of heavy snowfall with the number of deceased at 673 people (16.3%), 51 cases (9.6%) of typhoon with 1,290 people deceased (31.2%), and 43 other cases (8.1%). Man-made disasters from 1999 to 2011 included 3,055,487 cases (85.7%) of traffic accidents with 89,967 (92.5%) deceased, 496,631 cases (13.9%) of fire with the deceased victims numbering 6,130 (6.3%), and 12,924 cases (0.4%) of maritime disasters with the deceased at 1,150 people (1.2%).
The concept of disasters has to be changed to reflect the contemporary situation in Korea. The epidemiological characteristics of MCIs as conventional disasters revealed that man-made disasters such as traffic accidents, fires, and natural disasters such as heavy rain, snowfall, and gales occur most frequently and result in the most casualties.
Key words: Disasters; Mass casualty incidents; Epidemiology
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