exercises in compound storytelling

Monday, January 18, 2010

Haitian death tolls (2)

It is really difficult to do science in difficult circumstances, and unfortunately the question of how many people, exactly, have died as a result of the 2010 Haitian earthquake is a scientific question. Here are a few links:
The numbers are still kind of round, and vary from 50 000 to 220 000. At the risk of sounding cynical, I am tempted to be skeptical about any numbers coming from official government sources, and would be more inclined to believe numbers coming from a non-governmental organization with the capacity to collect numbers from many areas. The numbers in the article citing the Red Cross are really soft; it says three million affected, tens of thousands dead.

The 200 000 number seems to have come from a comparison to the 2004 South Asian Tsunami, but has otherwise been pulled out of thin air.

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