Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Tsunami Mortality in Aceh Province, Indonesia/Mortalite Due Au Tsunami Dans la Province De l'Aceh En Indonesie/Mortalidad Causada Por El Maremoto En la Provincia De Aceh, Indonesia

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Tsunami Mortality in Aceh Province, Indonesia/Mortalite Due Au Tsunami Dans la Province De l'Aceh En Indonesie/Mortalidad Causada Por El Maremoto En la Provincia De Aceh, Indonesia

Article excerpt

Introduction

On Sunday morning, 26 December 2004, an earthquake registering 9.0 on the Richter scale struck off the western coast of north Sumatra, triggering massive waves that devastated coastal regions throughout the Indian Ocean rim. Indonesia's Aceh Province suffered the greatest mortality, with widespread destruction extending along more than 1000 km of coastline. Approximately one year after the tsunami, Indonesian government estimates indicated 129 775 deaths, 38786 missing and 504518 tsunami-displaced in Aceh Province. (1)

Beginning in February 2005, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, with the local support and cooperation of Mercy Corps, conducted four rounds of household surveys in nine tsunami-affected districts of Aceh Province. The surveys covered essentially the entire coastline from Nagan Raya and Aceh Barat districts on the south-western coast to Aceh Utara on the eastern coast (see Fig. 1). The study aimed to measure tsunami mortality and injury as well as the needs and current status of the surviving displaced population, and we report our results in this paper.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Methods

Assessments of tsunami-displaced populations aimed to characterize the tsunami's impact as well as the status and needs of surviving internally displaced populations (IDPs). All surveys employed a similar design and survey instrument so that results from the different survey areas could be aggregated. Separate surveys were conducted for logistical purposes and were based on the best available information on displaced populations at the time of implementation, which usually included information from the Humanitarian Information Centre (HIC) and district officials.

The February survey encompassed the districts of Aceh Barat and Nagan Raya, which had reference population of 26 905 IDPs (2); four subdistricts within the survey area with an estimated 4428 IDPs were excluded due to inaccessibility and reported insecurity. The March survey of Banda Aceh and Aceh Besar was limited to two districts because of the large reference population of 215 379 IDPs residing in those districts. The July survey encompassed Pidie, Biruen, Aceh Utara and Lhoksumawe, with a total reference population of 152 348 IDPs; the subdistrict of Maura Batu in Aceh Utara was excluded because the survey team could not obtain permission from local authorities to conduct interviews. The final survey, in August 2005, was in the district of Aceh Jaya with a reference population of 40422 IDPs; the subdistrict of Teunom was excluded because ir was difficult to reach by road and NGOs working in the area reported that few IDPs remained there.

Two-stage cluster surveys employing probability-proportional-to-size sampling methodologies were used. Sampling was conducted based on lists of known locations of IDPs using standard cluster sampling methods to identify locations where interviews would occur. In the case of the first survey in Aceh Barat/Nagan Raya, the sample was apportioned equally between households living in IDP camps and households living with host families, based on the best available local information at the time of the survey. In later surveys, when displaced populations were reported by settlement type, dusters were identified strictly on the basis of probability sampling from lists of known IDP locations, which included host communities.

In the Banda Aceh/Aceh Besar survey, a 20x24 cluster design was used; in all other surveys, a 20x20 cluster design was used. Upon implementation, it was observed that the actual IDP populations were significantly different from the official estimates. In cases where displaced populations could not be identified in the selected IDP locations, the closest known IDP populations or settlements were sampled; to maintain appropriate geographical distribution, sampling was always conducted in the originally selected subdistrict. IDPs were residing in IDP camps (typically, temporary tent communities), in barracks (semi-permanent wooden structures) or in homes within host communities. …

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