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Haiti Earthquake's Human and Economic Tolls Mount

Posted on 13 Jan 2010

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While news reports estimated deaths from the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday as being well into the hundreds, the economic damage could total "hundreds of millions of dollars," according to risk management consultant Eqecat Inc., the unit of ABS Consulting which provides modeling and analysis for catastrophe bonds and other insurance-linked securities.

"Due to expected better underwriting standards than general building standards, insured buildings will generally perform better than the typical building, but this earthquake is very severe, and even well-designed buildings could expect damage from this event," Eqecat said.

The earthquake struck Haiti some 10 miles southwest of Port-Au-Prince at 1:53 p.m. local time, according to the U.S. Geological survey.