Volume 41, Issue 3 (May 1996)
Mortality from Hurricane Andrew
Hurricane Andrew, a category 4 storm, made landfall in South Florida on August 24, 1992, and caused extensive structural and environmental damage. The Dade County Medical Examiner Department investigated 15 deaths directly related to the storm and another 15 natural deaths indirectly related to the storm. The aftermath of the hurricane continued to create circumstances that lead to 32 accidental deaths, five suicides, and four homicides over the next six months. Traffic fatalities due to uncontrolled intersections accounted for one-third of the post-storm accidental deaths. Dyadic deaths (homicide-suicide) doubled in rate for the six months following the storm. The limited number of direct hurricane deaths is attributed to advance storm warnings, its occurrence on a weekend, the storm's passage through less populated areas of the county, and the relatively modest amount of accompanying rainfall.