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December 26, 2012

Mental Health Effects of Hurricane Sandy: Characteristics, Potential Aftermath, and Response

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: New York State Psychiatric Institute and Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology, Columbia University, New York (Dr Neria); and Center for Disaster and Extreme Event Preparedness (DEEP Center), Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida (Dr Shultz).

JAMA. 2012;308(24):2571-2572. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.110700

On October 22, 2012, a late-season tropical system was named Sandy by the US National Hurricane Center. The system meandered for several days in warm Caribbean waters, intensifying slowly, gaining forward momentum, and passing directly over Jamaica, eastern Cuba, and the Bahamas. Sandy's outer rain bands deluged Haiti's deforested terrain, triggering severe floods and mudslides. Although Sandy was a minimal hurricane, millions were affected across 5 Caribbean nations and Puerto Rico, 100 persons were killed or reported missing, and thousands of homes were damaged. Estimated economic losses ranged from $5 million in Jamaica to $2 billion in Cuba.1

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