Impact of climate change on disaster events in metropolitan cities -trend of disasters reported by Taiwan national medical response and preparedness system

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Background: Taiwan is geographically located in a zone that is vulnerable to earthquakes, typhoons, floods, and landslide hazards and has experienced various disasters. Six Regional Emergency Medical Operation Centers (REMOCs) are integrated and administered by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) to be responsible for emergency situations during disastrous events, such as the emission of chemical toxicants, traffic accidents, industrial materials containment, and typhoons. Objective: To analyze events reported by the six REMOCs during the 2014 to 2018 for the government policy reference. Methods: Data were collected from injured and death toll reports provided by local designated hospitals in the emergency medical reporting system. Disaster events were categorized into three categories: natural disaster (NDs), disasters associated with technology (DTs), and disasters associated with security/violence/others (DSVOs). The three categories were further subdivided into sub-categories. Variables considered for trend analyses included the number of wounded and deaths, event characteristics, date/time, and triage. The frequency of disaster events among the six REMOCs was compared using the chi-square test. We used the global information system (GIS) to describe the distribution of events in Taiwan metropolitan cities. The α-level was set at 0.05. Results: Of 580 events during the study period, the distribution of disaster characteristics in the jurisdictions of the six REMOCs were different. The majority of disaster events were DTs (64.5%), followed by NDs (24.5%) and DSVOs (11.0%). Events for the three disaster categories in the six REMOCs were different (χ2-test, p < 0.001). Furthermore, for the Taipei branch (Northern Taiwan), other NDs, especially heatwaves and cold spells, were most reported in New Taipei City (92.2%) and showed an increasing annual trend; for the Kaohsiung branch (Southern Taiwan), DT events were the most reported, especially in Kaohsiung City; and for the Taichung branch (Central Taiwan), DSVOs were the most reported, especially in Taichung City. Conclusion: Our data revealed that extreme weather precautions reported in the Taipei branch were increasing. Disaster characteristics were different in each metropolitan city. Upgrading the ability to respond to natural disasters is ineluctable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109186
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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