Port-au-Prince - Devastation from the recent earthquake in Haiti is still being assessed. Due to the high degree of illiteracy and overall poor math skills in the country the death count may be in the hundreds or as much as half a million, no one is certain. With annual GDP in Haiti less than 359 dollars a year anything over a hundred is considered a lot.
Newspaper writers have asked President Rene Preval to provide a list of casualties countless times with no success. Remaining officials from the Bureau of Statistics first started the gruesome task and then lost track once numbers got into triple digits. Police officials, distracted by the collapse of the local prison attempted a body count as well and got stuck at seventeen after counting sixteen twice. Dazed survivors of the failed math exercise wandered past dead bodies in the rubble-strewn streets of Port-au-Prince Wednesday, crying out for the answer to what comes after thirty-seven.
The streets are littered with countless efforts to assess the death toll written on mountains of scrap paper with numbers scratched out, a scene of unimaginable chaos.
The lack people with skill with numbers is appalling, mathematicians are being airlifted in to help out.