Re: How many died in Disaster?
I think most Trek episodes could be picked apart if somebody chose to. Personally, "Disaster" is one of my favorites because it presents a disaster scenario which is somewhat comparable to something that a 21st century human might encounter, unlike many other disasters which are very, alien to anything on earth (i.e. stuck time travelling, or fighting a wierd alien). Also, I really enjoyed the character development of Picard interacting with children, and seeing examples of how the crew of the Enterprise interacted with each other under duress. In most disaster situations the main emphasis is placed on an alien threat and on the bridge. In "Disaster" we got to see the psychological behaviors of some people beyond the bridge and engineering.
"The strain of the primitive... remained alive and active. Faithfulness and devotion, things born of fire and roof, were his; yet he retained his wildness and wiliness."
- The Call of the Wild, by Jack London