HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF THE TSUNAMI IN JAPAN
The earthquake and successive tsunami in Japan occurred in March 2011. The disaster began as an earthquake which triggered a tsunami in the nearby sea waters, causing widespread loss of lives and destruction to property. The tsunami also caused the destruction of a nuclear plant that is located close to the region, increasing the health risks due to a leakage of radioactive materials harmful to human health. The disaster caused several public health risks that may have long and short-term consequences to the residents of the affected region. This paper will explore some of the health consequences of the tsunami in Japan.
Health Consequences of the Tsunami in Japan
The tsunami caused widespread damage to infrastructure crucial in the maintenance of public health. For instance, sewer lines and water supply lines were damaged, increasing the risk of infectious disease outbreak such as cholera and typhoid which may increase the death toll. Also, the nearest hospital to the region was overwhelmed, putting the lives of the already admitted patients and victims of the disaster in danger since it could not provide medical services. Access to food, water and drugs was also curtailed since access roads were damaged. Other health consequences were brought about by the leakage of radioactive materials from the nearby nuclear plant. Although experts concluded that the risk for a short-term health effect of the leakage was highly unlikely, it may require some time to determine the long-term effects on the affected people (World Health Organization, 2013). Vulnerable groups including the children and elderly were the most affected.
In conclusion, the health consequences of the tsunami in Japan can be largely attributed to the lack of access to the basic human needs such as food, water, and healthcare. Further concerns were raised by the leakage in the nearby nuclear plant, although a short-term effect was highly unlikely. A follow-up assessment is required to determine the long-term effects of the nuclear plant leakage.
World Health Organization. (2013). Health risk assessment from the nuclear accident after the2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami, based on a preliminary dose estimation.World Health …