Oakbrook Terrace, Ill. (April 18, 2016) -- As weather events turn more frequent and more extreme in the 21st century, a new study published today in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene details the public health impacts after devastating flooding on a South Pacific island, and provides graphic evidence of the risk facing island populations and their health systems worldwide. Researchers documented the injury, loss of life, disease, and displacement experienced by the people of Honiara, the Solomon Islands capital city, after torrential rains triggered flash floods in April 2014.

"This is the first study to catalog significant health impacts from our changing climate in the Pacific region," said Eileen Natuzzi, MD, a general surgeon and public health researcher at San Diego State University's Graduate School of Public Health, who led the unique multi-national collaboration and who was present on the island at the time of the disaster. "The findings support the notion that this region is vulnerable not only to the well-documented rising sea levels associated with climate change, but also to more severe storms like this flood, which we witnessed as well as cyclones like Pam and Winston that have followed it."

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Source: EurekAlert