As if the recent cyclone disaster in Myanmar wasn’t bad enough, now comes word of a 7.9 magnitute earthquake in China that has killed more than eight thousand people including many schoolchildren still buried under rubble over the weekend. This earthquake was even stronger than the Tangshan earthquake of 1976, which killed more than 240,000 people died and it is feared that the death toll could go far higher. The tremors from this quake shook buildings throughout China  and were felt as far away as Thailand and Vietnam, according to interviews and reports in China’s state media.
Here in the United States, crews are searching for storm survivors from violent storms that have killed twenty-three people (at last count) in Missouri, Oklahoma and Georgia over the weekend. In a statement issued Sunday as he left his ranch in Crawford, Tex., President Bush said the federal government would offer assistance to the states hit by the tornadoes.
“We send our prayers to those who lost their lives, the families of those who lost their lives,” Mr. Bush said. “And the federal government will be moving hard to help.”
In times like these, it is natural to feel helpless but I would urge you not to. Rather, I would suggest that you contact your local Red Cross or United Way to offer any help that you are able to. Remember, your “little” help, when combined with those of others like you, will go a long way inproviding relief for those that might need a hand up in their challenging moments. My thanks to you in advance for being charitable.
Update (Art): Strong echo of Thomas’ comments. It’s interesting to see while Myanmar has tried to keep the country closed in the aftermath of the disaster, China (historically fearful of outside interference) has been surprisingly candid and responsive to their needs and accepting of outside help. Although Myanmar is starting to allow some into the country, I suspect it will be a slow trickle. All of the situations Thomas mentioned are sad, and our hearts and prayers go out to those that have lost family and friends. Links to help:
World Vision