| GEO World|
| Haiti quake more destructive than 2004 tsunami: study|
| Updated at: 0708 PST, Wednesday, February 17, 2010|
PORT-AU-PRINCE: The scale of devastation in Haiti is far worse than in Asia after the 2004 tsunami, a study has said, estimating the cost of last month's earthquake at up to 14 billion dollars.
The report released Tuesday from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) raised the possibility that the quake could be the most destructive disaster in modern history.
Its stark assessment comes with Port-au-Prince still lying in ruins more than one month on, while the bodies of more than 200,000 dead pile up in mass graves outside the capital.
The study's release coincided with what would normally be Haiti's annual carnival, an explosion of pulsing music and colorful parades. But this year, the events have been cancelled as no one is in the mood to party.
The preliminary IDB report estimated the damage at between eight and 14 billion dollars in what was already the poorest country in the Americas before the catastrophe.
Factoring in Haiti's population and economic output, the upper estimate would make it the most destructive natural disaster in modern history, the bank said.
"Indeed, in this respect the Haiti earthquake was vastly more destructive than the Indonesian tsunami of 2004 and the cyclone that hit Myanmar in 2008," an IDB statement said.