Haitian earthquake deathtoll may be revised sharply downward

It would be nice to know that less than 316,000 people died in the January 2010 Haitian earthquake. News reports from the AP and the NY Times are suggesting that a new US government-sponsored report will show many fewer Haitian deaths.

A US-Commissioned report has said that far fewer than 316,000 people died in the massive earthquake in Haiti on January 12 last year.

The Associated Press said that the report projects that the death toll was between 46,000 and 85,000, far below the Haitian government’s official figure of 316,000. The report was prepared for the U.S. Agency for International Development but has not yet been publicly released, AP said.

Early reports from the leaked document suggest that numbers of homeless may also have been overreported. But all this may come down to differing methodologies for measuring such things. One hopes that the flow of aid to Haiti will not be threatened if the numbers are challenged. It was still a disaster of mind-blowing proportions.

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