As of this hour, the latest CNN reports peg the dead at 56,000. FIFTY-SIX THOUSAND PEOPLE. And we're not even counting the toll in secretive Myanmar, whose exposed coastline is far longer than Thailand's, and whose location, scientists say, may have made it worse hit. We're not counting, either, the death toll from disease and hunger that health workers know will come in the next weeks. The numbers were already devastating yesterday, when the initial reports put the dead at 5,000. Now it's risen over tenfold, with more to come.
So, friends, if any of you would like to take some time out and say a prayer for those who lost their lives in the disaster, and their families who grieve, please do so. And if anyone would like to make a donation to a relief agency, you can follow the links here:
Action Against Hunger
Association for India's Development
Catholic Relief Services
Christian Children's Fund
Direct Relief International
Doctors Without Borders
Food for the Hungry, Inc.
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
International Medical Corps
Network for Good
Project Concern International
Save the Children USA
U.N. World Food Programme
Most of these are US-based organizations, but the websites will take donations from all over the world through secure credit card transactions. Amazon.com has also created a system that will allow its customers to donate to Red Cross through its site.
K2 also tells me that her company as offered to match any donations made by their employees, so if you would like to pool your contributions with ours, please let me know.
UPDATE 03 January 2005
The latest reports on the news peg the death toll at over 155,000, thrice what it was a week ago. If you are able, please make a contribution to the relief efforts.