Collections > UNC Chapel Hill Undergraduate Honors Theses Collection > A Systematic Analysis of Direct and Indirect Casualties Associated with Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclones

Major tropical cyclones (TCs) often produce tremendous property damage and significant loss of life. As tropical cyclones track inland and dissipate, their impacts can be substantial. This study provides a detailed view of the various factors and the resulting deaths using data from the last 40 years of tropical cyclone history. It documents all reported TC related deaths of 106 tropical cyclones from 1970 to 2011. A database of all-­cause TC deaths associated is created to understand the number of indirect and direct deaths and the spatial distribution of the deaths relative to the shoreline and tropical cyclone track. Various tropical cyclone attributes, including size, strength, and speed of movement are related to the spatial pattern of deaths and their location relative to the cyclone track. Loss of life occurs as far inland as 700 km from the shoreline and as far as 700 km from the center of the track. The spatial distribution of the deaths around a TC vary according to the type of impact that caused the death. Rain-related deaths tend to be equally distributed across the track and well inland from the shoreline, while wind-related deaths remain concentrated close to the track and close to the shoreline.