Damaged buildings resulting from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in the Caribbean nation of Haiti (Photo: Pan-African News Wire)
On Tuesday, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, which was already one of the Western hemisphere’s poorest countries. In and around Port-au-Prince, where the quake was centered, entire towns that are in shambles, affecting the 1.8 million prople living in the area.
The country will need a tremendous ammount of aid in order to help those who were injured, displaced or lost loved ones in the tragedy. Here are some ways you can help:
- The American Red Cross is donating an initial $200,000 to assist communities that were affected. They plan to provide immediate needs for food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support. You can make a donation through their International Response Fund.
- UNICEF issued a statement that “Children are always the most vulnerable population in any natural disaster, and UNICEF is there for them.” Make a donation for relief for children in Haiti via their Haiti Earthquake Fund or by calling 1-800-4UNICEF
People carry an injured person after an earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday - The largest earthquake ever recorded in the area (Photo: AP Photo/Radio Tele Ginen)
- If you want to donate through Wyclef Jean‘s foundation, Yele Haiti, text “Yele” to 501501 and $5 will be charged to your phone bill and given to relief projects through the organization.
- Save The Children has launched an emergency relief effort for Haiti. Click here to Donate to their fund to provide medical attention and clean water to children and families.
- International Medical Corps is assembling a team of first responders and resources to provide lifesaving medical care and other emergency services to survivors of the earthquake. Donate to the International Medical Corps through their 24-hour hotline at 1-800-481-4462
- Ben Stiller’s Stillerstrong campaign will be temporarily diverting all donations to support the Haiti relief effort.
- Oxfam is rushing in teams from around the region to respond to the situation to provide clean water, shelter, sanitation and help people recover. To help their efforts, Donate to Oxfam America online.
Only one day after the first earthquake shook the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a SECOND one hit on September 30, only 180 miles from the epicenter of the first one, leaving the area devastated. The second quake measured 6.6 in magnitude.
Early reports estimate that 500 are dead and thousands more are severely injured, still trapped or missing after buildings caught fire, homes collapsed, airports closed, and residents and tourists became trapped. In Padang, one of the hardest hit towns, at least 500 homes caved in.
The Indonesian Red Cross (also known as Palang Merah Indonesia or PMI) has dispatched nearly 300 volunteers, (including 45 doctors to the quake zone to offer first aid services, shelter and other assistance for those in need) and thousands of relief supplies, such as tarps, blankets and sarongs, are also being moved from warehouses in Jakarta to Padang.
While the American Red Cross is initially donating $100,000 to the Indonesian Red Cross, The global Red Cross network is now responding to five near-simultaneous disasters in Asia Pacific (the Ketsana typhoon of 9/26/2009; an 8.3-magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami that hit on 9/29/2009 that rocked Samoa, Tonga and America Samoa; the first 7.6-magnitude quake that hit off the coast of Padang, West Sumatra on 9/30/2009; and the second earthquake that hit 10/1/2009 in the Jambi region of Indonesia) and needs your help!
Ways to help:
- Donate now – you can make a tax-deductable financial contribution to the American Red Cross’ Disaster Relief Fund, International Response Fund, or to your local Red Cross chapter.
- Volunteer your time
- Give Blood
For inquiries about relatives living and who have citizenship in Indonesia, please be patient and call repeatedly until the lines clear or contact other family members who live nearby. Telephone, Internet and other communication lines are often disrupted in times of disaster. People trying to locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in Indonesia should contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or 202-647-5225.