Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category

1/27/2002: Explosions at a military depot in Lagos, Nigeria, trigger a stampede of fleeing people, during which more than 1,000 people are killed.

HxC


Tuberculosis, Hurricane Maria, and Puerto Rico, 2017

MMWR

“On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 130–156 miles per hour, and 15–40 inches of rain causing catastrophic flash floods. The storm destroyed electricity and communication systems, left large areas without water service, and caused widespread damage to critical infrastructure, transportation, health care, and agriculture. On the sixth day after the event, 58 (84%) of 69 hospitals on the island had no electric power or fuel for generators (1). The devastation led to declaration of a major disaster, just 10 days after a similar declaration for Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm that left 1 million Puerto Ricans without electricity after its center passed approximately 57 miles north of Puerto Rico (2,3). Although the island’s entire population was affected by Hurricane Maria, the poorer, more remote, and economically disadvantaged communities, as well as those with larger numbers of bedridden and elderly persons, fared worse (4) because they had less access to already depleted health care services, more fragile homes, and no alternative means for electricity generation…….”


1/24/1939: An 8.3-magnitude earthquake centered in south central Chile leaves 50,000 people dead and 60,000 injured.

HxC

 


1/23/1556: An earthquake in Shaanxi, China, kills an estimated 830,000 people.

HxC

“……the quake struck in the middle of a densely populated area with poorly constructed buildings and homes, resulting in a horrific death toll…….”

 


Jan. 15, 1919: “Send all available rescue vehicles and personnel immediately — there’s a wave of molasses coming down Commercial Street.”

NBC

  • The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919
  • 2 million gallon tank erupted
  • 21 killed

 

 


The Pandemic of 1918: “……since it happened once, analogous conditions could lead to an equally devastating pandemic….”

EID

Taubenberger JK, Morens DM. 1918 Influenza: the Mother of All Pandemics. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2006;12(1):15-22. doi:10.3201/eid1201.050979.

The “Spanish” influenza pandemic of 1918–1919, which caused ≈50 million deaths worldwide, remains an ominous warning to public health. Many questions about its origins, its unusual epidemiologic features, and the basis of its pathogenicity remain unanswered. The public health implications of the pandemic therefore remain in doubt even as we now grapple with the feared emergence of a pandemic caused by H5N1 or other virus. However, new information about the 1918 virus is emerging, for example, sequencing of the entire genome from archival autopsy tissues. But, the viral genome alone is unlikely to provide answers to some critical questions. Understanding the 1918 pandemic and its implications for future pandemics requires careful experimentation and in-depth historical analysis.


CDC: 1918 Pandemic Video

This image shows the order of events leading up to the reconstruction of the 1918 virus by Dr. Terrence Tumpey within CDC’s biosecurity level 3 enhanced laboratory.

This image lists lessons learned from the study of the reconstructed 1918 virus at CDC and why it was so deadly.

1918 Flu Pandemic Commemoration


1/13/1982: an Air Florida Boeing 727 plunges into the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., killing 78 people.

HxC

“…..Two people in particular emerged as heroes during the rescue: Arland Williams and Lenny Skutnik. Known as the “sixth passenger,” Williams survived the crash, and passed lifelines on to others rather than take one for himself. He ended up being the only plane passenger to die from drowning. When one of the survivors to whom Williams had passed a lifeline was unable to hold on to it, Skutnik, who was watching the unfolding tragedy, jumped into the water and swam to rescue her…..”

  • The bridge was later renamed the Arland D. Williams Jr. Memorial Bridge.

See the source image

 

 

 


1/2/1971: 66 football (soccer) fans are killed in a stampede at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland, as they attempt to leave a game at the same time and in the same place.

HxC

 


12/30/1903, the deadliest theater fire in U.S. history: A fire in the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, Illinois, kills more than 600 people.

History


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