How do they know how many people died so soon after a major disaster?

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In Turkey and Syria now they’re saying 1,800 people died already. Is it as simple as counting the bodies and reporting that?

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30 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

It is done in several ways:
1) Counting the bodies as you say.
2) By people saying that this and this person is missing, and then find out if they are found
3) After some time, where it is guaranteed nobody that is not found, would have been able to survive.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It was only dozens earlier today so basically as they keep finding bodies. Plus people reporting their loved ones missing they make estimates.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Disaster responses are usually coordinated by a centralized authority (Incident Command System, or ICS). Teams of first-responders go out into the field, assist in recovery efforts, and collect information on injured, missing and dead, and on damage to infrastructure. These reports are conveyed to the ICS which can then determine how to deploy further resources. Part of an ICS’s function is to report casualty information to government and media.

Edit: I absent-mindedly wrote “centre” instead of “system.”

Anonymous 0 Comments

>Is it as simple as counting the bodies and reporting that?

Yes. They will be counting bodies for months to come, they don’t know how many are dead yet, only how many they have already recovered and recorded.

Really, the fault is in reporting, misleadingly presenting the figures as if it were a estimation of total, it isn’t.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In mass disasters such as this, as compared to a small disaster like a multi-car road accident, care changes.

In the smaller accident, paramedics/EMT’s will arrive and start helping people, if your heart stops, they move to resuscitate.

In large disasters, triage occurs. A guy who is dead, or has recently died, may be saveable with proper defibrillation and other measures, but that could require several peoples attention to happen. So you get triage, where they say “this guy is gone, lets help that one who’s still breathing and in pain”

So when a medic calls somebody dead in those situations, they stay dead.

We see the reports so soon because their central authority has good reporting procedures, it’s likely Turkey has planned for something like this, as the fault line responsible is fairly active and has caused some big earthquakes in the past. So I’m not surprised they “had their shit together” especially on the record keeping.

Anonymous 0 Comments

When a six level apartment collapses at night, and probably has 100 people in it, you can’t easily count bodies in the wreckage. And looking for survivors takes a lot of effort so they guess at first, and verify as they go. It never will be an exact count, but that really isn’t what’s important. Finding survivors is where the effort should be, and helping the displaced not starve.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They make estimates based on a number of known figures, like X number of people lived in whatever building, and they estimate downwards. That’s why the figures go up throughout the period immediately afterwards, those figures get revised based on emergency responders, hospitals, etc.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Number of people living in a building that collapses minus number of people rescued equals number of dead people. In addition people contacting authorities saying my uncle is missing and I can’t contact them and they were in the area at the time etc. This is then compiled to create an estimate of the number of dead, it is only an estimate, but with modern communications it works quite well.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They don’t know. That’s why that number is going to go up every time you check the news in the near future. When you see 1800 to start, we know that know that number is going to increase dramatically through the day and week.

Anonymous 0 Comments

In this situation, they don’t know how many are dead. The 1800 number is just what was known when it was published. From looking at pictures of collapsed apartment blocks, it seems likely that many tens of thousands are dead. Whole villages might have been wiped out and can’t be reached. We’ll never know an exact number.