The 7.0-magnitude quake struck Tuesday afternoon, and has left Port-au-Prince, the capital city, in ruins.
Haitian President René Préval told the Miami Herald Wednesday he has been stepping over dead bodies and estimated thousands of people were killed.
He said Bellerive's projection may be high because it was based on the extent of the destruction rather than firm counts of the dead.
"We have to do an evaluation," Préval said, describing the scene as "unimaginable."
"All of the hospitals are packed with people. It is a catastrophe,'' he said.
"Parliament has collapsed. The tax office has collapsed. Schools have collapsed. Hospitals have collapsed,'' he told the paper. "There are a lot of schools that have a lot of dead people in them."