Impact of Flood Di
Department of Geography, King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Abstract: The impact of natural disasters over the last decade has resulted in many lives lost and livelihoods destroyed. Recent disasters, such as the earthquakes, the drought in the Horn of Africa, and landslides in Yemen have tested the capacities of Member States as well as national and international humanitarian agencies to provide quick and effective assistance. Flood disaster constitutes the most costly natural as well as technology-induced disaster, in terms of both human suffering and financial loss. Natural disaster risk assessment is a complex task, involving a wide variety of processes which require large amounts of spatial and temporal thematic data and information coming from disparate sources. In conjunction with the natural disaster risk assessment, medical geography aims at explaining the distribution of health status and disease. It identifies efficient ways to intervene and distribute trained personal and technology and has a crucial role in assessing and managing the consequences of disasters.Aim of the study: Exploring the impact of the floods on the mental health of the residents in the Eastern region of Jeddah Governorate, Locate neighbourhoods affected by the flood disaster in the city of Jeddah; Identify the natural factors causing the disaster; Human impact and negative role in the disaster; Measuring the psychological impact on the population in the affected place; Estimate the prevalence of PTSD among residents in the eastern region of Jeddah, as well as the residents who were shifted to the lodging houses; Describe the potential and exacerbating factors associated with occurrence of PTSD among residents exposed to the flood disaster and finally develop plans and recommendations that would reduce the recurrence of the disaster in the future. Methods and subjects: The study depends on the objective approach ,using many methods in analyzing the information such as the descriptive, analytical and interpretative in addition to field studies. Through a cross sectional community based on a design sample of 450 individuals, who were selected randomly from an estimated 336000 residents who were living along the stream courses of the flood. Cluster sampling using ArcGis 9.1 was made to assign 40 random clusters distributed proportionally according to the expected severity of exposure and from each cluster 10 households were selected by systematic random sampling plus 50 individuals who were selected randomly from those who were evacuated to lodging houses. PTSS-10 questionnaire was used to discover PTSD among people exposed to disasters. The results obtained from this study are explained and illustrated in tables and figures, in addition the study covering the following topics:Re-experiencing symptoms(Flashbacks— reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating, bad dreams and frightening thoughts); Avoidance symptoms(e.g. Staying away from places, events, or objects that remind of the experience, feeling emotionally numb, feeling strong guilt, depression, worry, losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past and having trouble remembering the dangerous event) and Hyper-arousal symptoms (Being easily startled, feeling tense or “on edge”, having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts). Conclusion and Recommendations: While it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to predict the occurrence of most natural hazards; it is possible to take action before emergency events happen to plan for their occurrence when possible and to mitigate their potential effects putting into consideration the expected scenario of the event. Our study revealed two important issues that would help in the preparedness plan for flood disaster in Jeddah Governorate, first, the anatomy of the expected flood that could be modified through establishment of properly designed underground drainage tunnels leading to the red sea on the western border of the city. Secondly, in addition to the direct effect of the disaster represented by loss of properties and morbidities that could be ameliorated by compensations and concurrent health services, an overlooked post disaster impact shown as Post Traumatic Stress Disorders should be put in consideration in planning for the comprehensive health services provided to the victims of the flood. Thirdly, the authorities must prevent the establishment of any buildings, roads or infra-structure along the courses of dry valleys.
[Katibah Maghrabi. Impact of Flood Disaster on the Mental Health of Residents in the Eastern Region of Jeddah Governorate, 2010: A Study in Medical geography. Life Sci J 2012;9(1):95-110] (ISSN: 1097-8135).http://www.lifesciencesite.com. 17
Keywoed: Flood Disaster, Mental Health ,Jeddah, Governorate, geography. Full Text 17