Dr Leah Grout, Louise Thornley, Prof Nick Wilson*
Grout L, Thornley L, Wilson N. Seven decades of severe weather events in Aotearoa New Zealand: What are the human health impacts? Public Health Expert Blog. 22 June 2022. https://blogs.otago.ac.nz/pubhealthexpert/seven-decades-of-severe-weather-events-in-aotearoa-new-zealand-what-are-the-human-health-impacts/
In this blog, we summarise our recent report that explores the health impacts from severe weather events, such as floods and storms, in Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ) for the past 70 years. Over this timeframe, there were 498 severe weather events recorded, of which 185 were linked with either injuries or deaths. In total, the deaths of 362 people were reported, and the most common cause of death was boating accidents. The health consequences of severe weather could increase with climate change – but fortunately there are a range of preventive measures available that could lower the harm from these events (eg, by reducing housing on flood plains and low-lying coastal areas).