This of course follows on the heels of the the cyclone in Myanmar that has officially killed 32,000 people, with total death toll estimates in the range of 60,000 to 100,000. And then there’s the far, far (far) less extreme but closer to home and still tragic case of deadly tornadoes in Missouri, Oklahoma and Georgia.
I’m willing to place some money on opportunist “religious” folk using these unimaginable events as some kind of vehicle to condemn abortion and gay rights (but already too nauseous to verify if it has happened). But even my rational atheist self is pretty damn freaked out by this happening all at once. And perhaps rightly so. I’m no scientist and don’t pretend to be, but I don’t quite believe that global warming had no hand in any of these natural disasters.
Quite honestly, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know if there is anything to say in the face of so many lives lost. There perhaps will be as there are further developments. This will not go away overnight, and there are likely to be ramifications for many years. In many areas, there will be poverty, hunger, homelessness and violence. In Myanmar, all of this has begun or is strongly anticipated. And in addition to caring for the simple reason of our shared humanity, as feminists we know that when natural disasters strike, women suffer the most, in addition to children and those who are the most economically disadvantaged
The American Red Cross has been helping in Myanmar, and I can only assume that aid is on the way to China. You can make a donation to the International Response Fund through their website. If you would like to specify where you would like the funds to go — for instance, if you want your donation to go specifically to the Myanmar crisis — you will have to make your donation to Red Cross over the telephone at 1-800-HELP-NOW.
If you know of other/better charities or ways to help, please let me know and I will add them to the post.
[Photo of earthquake wreckage in China via National Geographic.]