Monday, December 27, 2004

The Asian Disaster

The world is in a state of shock at the death toll from the earthquake and its tidal waves in Sumatra, Sri Lanka, South India, and elsewhere. I have nothing to add of value to the news reports available elsewhere. Destructive events of this kind, in addition to raising all the questions of the universe, tend to frustrate even my prayers, and I am reduced to a wordless sursum corda.

Also, I wish that other words could be found than "biblical disaster" for this event, but it seems regrettably to be apt, as in this report from the Washington Post (registration required):
Within minutes, the beach and the area behind it had become an inland sea that rushed over the road and poured into the flimsy houses on the other side. The speed with which it all happened seemed like a scene from the Bible, a natural phenomenon unlike anything I had experienced.

As the waters rose at an incredible rate, I half expected to catch sight of Noah's Ark.

Instead of the ark, I grabbed a wooden catamaran that the local people used as a fishing boat. My brother jumped on the boat next to me. We bobbed up and down on the catamaran as the water rushed past us into the village beyond the road.
Beyond our words, thoughts, and wordless prayers, we can give concrete help. Suggestions from the Red Cross are found here.

UPDATE: More ways to help are found here and here.

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