Natural Disasters

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Psychological Consequences of Earthquakes

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes and cyclones, floods, and tornadoes are some of the traumatic experiences that may cause posttraumatic stress disorders. This type of disorders and other disaster related psychological problems are prevalent after natural disasters. As a result it is important to analyse those individuals that develop psychological problems especially to prepare and plan interventions both in the short and long term after disaster (Coşkun, Coşkun, 2000, p: 68). Earthquakes have quickly become one of the most highlighted natural disasters. Unlike other natural disasters, earthquakes occur without warning, the
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In the same year on 21 September 1999, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale struck Taiwan. The Chi-Chi earthquake caused more than 2.300 deaths, injured more than 8.000 people, and damaged or destroyed more than 100.000 homes and many survivors showed the symptoms of disorders and post traumatic stress disorders (Chen et al., 2007). Researches showed that the rates of post traumatic stress disorder, major depression, and minor psychiatric morbidity in the early stage after the Chi-Chi earthquake were 37%, 16%, and 89.9%, respectively (Chen et al., 2001 p:13). On the other hand another study showed that the psychiatric disorder among Chi-Chi earthquake survivors within 6 months of the disaster reported that the prevalence rates of post traumatic stress disorders and major depression were 7.9% and 9.5% respectively (Chou et al., 2005). The risk factor of post traumatic stress disorder included female sex, lower educational level, and greater trauma exposure (Lai et al., 2004). In the research Chen et al. found that two year follow up of the Chi-Chi earthquake stressed on that the long term impact of a major disaster on the survivors. They also found that the prevalence of psychiatric problems after a severe earthquake in Taiwan was comparable with the post disaster rate reported elsewhere (Chen et al., 2007) and can be compared with the earthquake in Turkey in same year.

Another natural occurrence happened in the
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