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    An earthquake with a magnitude of 8 or 9 is predicted to occur near the Ryukyu Islands in Japan, for which the Okinawa Prefecture is preparing countermeasures. Evacuating people to a safe shelter within the tsunami arrival time is a crucial countermeasure. This study aims to understand the vulnerabilities of patients with chronic respiratory diseases in southern parts of Okinawa during a tsunami evacuation, thereby calculating evacuation distance of vulnerable patients and creating individual evacuation plans. Data for chronic respiratory patients obtained in July 2021 from the hospitals in Okinawa Prefecture include age, gender, diagnosis, residence, nearest tsunami shelter, oxygen flow at rest and walking, and maximum walking distance for 6 min based on a 6-min walk test. A quantum geographic information system was used for mapping the data. The survival potential of patients with chronic respiratory disease was evaluated by using a tsunami inundation depth of one meter and the distance within which an evacuation can be performed until the first tsunami wave reaches the nearest evacuation shelter. Results revealed a low survival potential for respiratory disease patients under the current tsunami evacuation plan. The study suggests creating an individual evacuation plan for vulnerable patients involving families and medical staff and then conducting a drill for improving the plan.


    Hiroshi Sekiguchi, Rie Takeuchi, Yoko Sato, Tsuyoshi Matsumoto, Jun Kobayashi, Takehiro Umemura. Can Homecare Chronic Respiratory Disease Patients with Home Oxygen Treatment (HOT) in Southern Okinawa, Japan Be Evacuated Ahead of the Next Anticipated Tsunami? International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022 May 06;19(9)

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    PMID: 35565042

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