18 October 2013

America seldom seems so insular as when a tragedy happens elsewhere in the world. Stories that would be front page news or would dominate headlines around the world if they happened here seem to get a mere blip because they aren’t happening to us...as if that makes it any less tragic. 
While we were waiting for the government to reopen, in India they were dealing with Cyclone Phailin, which come on shore as the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane. 
In addition to at nearly 30 lives lost, close to one million people were evacuated, tens of thousands of houses were destroyed and a tremendous number of crops (and, therefore, people’s livelihoods) were ruined. It was one of the largest evacuations in India’s history. 
The loss of life would have been much worse except for that even the smallest and poorest villages in India now have 24-hour news stations, according to the New York Times, and many people have mobile phones.  
With hundreds of thousands still reeling from the destruction, disaster relief organizations have come in to help. Among the leaders is Global Giving, which is on the ground providing emergency and long-term assistance. 
Oct. 18: Global Giving  
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