Charles Watson, along with his team at Watson Technical Consulting, assessed the damage that had been done to Metropolis and worked out all the numbers specifically for Buzzfeed. Watson Technical Consulting estimates that 129,000 people would have been killed, while over 250,000 would have gone missing (most of whom would most likely have died as well). Meanwhile, nearly a million people would have been injured overall, at the very least.
The consulting team said that the damage “seemed to be similar to an air burst from a 20kt nuclear explosion in terms of shock effects, but without the radiation or thermal effects.” For the physical damage caused to the city, the cost is to be estimated at $700 billion. By contrast, 9/11’s physical damage cost $55 billion, while the impact economically was at $123 billion. Watson Technical Consulting says the total damage to Metropolis was estimated at $2 trillion altogether.
Superman may have the super-strength and superpowers, but he probably doesn’t have $2 trillion lying around anywhere. Perhaps the sequel can be entirely devoted to him apologizing for all the carnage and writing an endless amount of checks. It’s the least he could do. You can read the entire report from the WTC here. And if you want to know our thoughts on the film's borrowing of 9/11 imagery, be sure to read our breakdown of The Best & Worst Of 'Man of Steel'.