It was 10:30 last night, and I really needed to take my book and head up to bed, but I couldn't turn away from the news. I kept watching the footage of the water washing away homes and tractor trailers, because I still can't quite believe that water can do that.
And now the nuclear threat.
It's heartbreaking. I have such admiration for the Japanese people and their culture. I hope they can weather this storm.
If you're going to donate money, don't earmark your donations. Annie Lowrey explains,
Consider the case of the massive 2004 Asian tsunami. In Sri Lanka, for instance, aid agencies reportedly ended up building "mini-mansions," because they had to use certain donated funds for housing. In Indonesia, humanitarian groups found themselves with more funds than necessary for the construction of orphanages. That excess meant that "families resorted to abandoning their children … because they could not feed and clothe them." Needless to say, in both cases, had donors allowed for a more optimal allocation of dollars, the Sri Lankans and Indonesians might have been better off.
More pictures at National Geographic.