23 February 2011
By now all of you have heard of the devastating 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, two days ago. A couple evenings ago I was chatting online with Karen, a family friend who lives an hour south of Christchurch in Ashburton, when one of the many large aftershocks hit (a few were bigger than 5.0-magnitude). With that, and having visited Christchurch previously, I’ve been closely following news of this disaster. A good website for updated local news down there is www.stuff.co.nz, and they have an article that’s a constantly updating timeline of events. As I write this, Christchurch police have confirmed 98 fatalities and 226 missing. Officials aren’t holding out much hope for the people who are missing at this point, more than 48 hours after the primary earthquake.
Anyway, I’ve wished that I could do something to help. I’m not in New Zealand, so I can’t go help with cleanup efforts. But any of us here in the U.S. can donate money to charities that are providing disaster relief to the people in the city of Christchurch and the region of Canterbury as a whole. If you would like to donate to relief funds for these devastating earthquakes in New Zealand, here are some reputable charities that are doing work there:
There are other charities as well, and if you have any question about whether a particular charity is a legitimate one working in New Zealand, check on the NZ Charity Registry. There is unfortunately quite a bit of attempted fraud in the wake of this disaster.
I urge all of you to be generous and donate to the earthquake relief funds in New Zealand. There are a great many people there who are in great need.