On top of the economic problems, and on-going tradegies from various environmental and political troubles, this week has brought a string of natural disasters. Typhoon Ketsana devastated the Philippines Saturday and Vietnam Tuesday, with Typhoon Parma headed their way, possibly striking the Philippines as soon as Friday; a tsunami caused by an underground earthquake hit American Samoa hard yesterday (Tuesday); an earthquake today in Indonesia has trapped thousands.
Please donate to a disaster relief organization. Here's the donation site for the Red Cross. I'll post more later today.
I suggest choosing the option to donate where the need is greatest. After a well-publicized disaster they often get more than they need for that disaster, while falling short for less-publicized disasters, or those that occur shortly after.
updated 32 minutes ago
PADANG, Indonesia - A powerful earthquake rocked western Indonesia Wednesday, trapping thousands under collapsed buildings — including two hospitals — and triggering landslides. At least 75 people were killed on Sumatra island and the death toll was expected to climb sharply.
The magnitude 7.6 quake struck at 5:15 p.m. local time (6:15 a.m. EDT), just off the coast of Padang city the U.S. Geological Survey said. It was along the same fault line that spawned the massive 2004 Asian tsunami that killed more than 230,000 people in a dozen countries.
updated 1 hour, 28 minutes ago
APIA, Samoa - A massive tsunami hurled by a powerful earthquake flattened Samoan villages and swept cars and people out to sea, killing at least 99 and leaving dozens missing Wednesday. The toll was expected to rise.
Four tsunami waves 15 to 20 feet high roared ashore on American Samoa, reaching up to a mile inland, Mike Reynolds, superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa, was quoted as saying by a parks service spokeswoman.
msnbc.com news services
updated 7:35 p.m. ET, Tues., Sept . 29, 2009
HANOI/MANILA - A powerful typhoon slammed into central Vietnam on Tuesday, killing 32 people and flooding towns and villages along the country's long coastline after leaving a trail of death and destruction in the Philippines.
The death toll in the Philippines from Typhoon Ketsana rose to 246 while the economic cost was nearly $100 million, officials said. Philippine authorities braced for another storm that could hit later this week.
Ketsana, which struck Manila and surrounding provinces on Saturday, gathered strength across the South China Sea, made landfall in central Vietnam, where 170,000 were evacuated from its path. It was weakening as it headed west into Laos.