Sorry to be flippant about such natural disasters, but I have been provoked. Sean O'Grady has pointed out, in The Independent newspaper, that "the longer-term boost to spending from reconstruction and development can even help an economy". It's true, GDP will be helped, but an ounce of common sense show this up for how warped and stupid this claim that natural disasters have advantages is.
Are we so blinded by the need to increase GDP, that we cannot see that this paradox does not have to exist? The destruction of property is not a good thing and in no way should it be mistaken for growth in any positive way. OK, with it being a natural disaster, we could sustain an argument that the damage should be excluded from GDP/growth calculations, but if it were counted, in the negative direction, then all the warning systems, earth quake and tsunami proofing and general avoidance of destruction would limit the negative effect of the natural disasters on our sane GDP calculation.