Building collapse and human deaths resulting from the Chi-Chi earthquake in Taiwan, September 1999

Yen Fisiung Liao, Long Chih Hwang, Chih Ching Chang, Yu Jue Hong, I. Nong Lee, Jen Hsuan Huang, Shu Fang Lin, Maurice Shen, Chia Hong Lin, Yung Yen Gau, Chin Tzo Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, the authors attempted to determine factors associated with earthquake deaths in the great Chi-Chi Earthquake that occurred on September 21, 1999, in Taiwan. An isoseismal map was used to identify life-threatening hazards. The vertical peak ground acceleration of ground motion intensity was deemed the most appropriate index for the evaluation of building collapse and mortality. Mortality increased with the increase in earthquake intensity, and building collapse, approaching the epicenter. The greatest number of collapsed buildings and human deaths occurred between the Chelungpu Fault and the Shuantun Fault. Individuals 65 yr of age and older were the most vulnerable to the impact. The authors' findings suggest that improvements in earthquake-resistant building design and construction, as well as improved medical rescue for the elderly, could reduce the level of exposure to earthquake hazards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-578
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Environmental Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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