Mission of Burma: Please help these people

As I said earlier, most Americans are starting to feel politicked out, at least for today anyway. If you live in Indiana or North Carolina, please vote today, but here's something that any of us can do on a day when it seems like we're waiting for everything from election results to the Phillies on the West Coast to the start of the next round of hockey.

The people of Burma need help. The tragedy caused there by a cyclone is too awful for many to think about. The death toll is now at 22,500 and rising:

At a news conference in Yangon, the minister for relief and resettlement, Maung Maung Swe, said 41,000 people were still missing in the aftermath of the cyclone, which triggered a surge of water inland from the sea.

“More deaths were caused by the tidal wave than the storm itself,” he said, in the first official description of the destruction. “The wave was up to 12 feet high and it swept away and inundated half the houses in low-lying villages. They did not have anywhere to flee.”


Residents of Yangon reached by telephone described a city in tatters, with fallen trees, a lack of power and water and, in the poorer outskirts, badly damaged homes. Tank trucks were selling water from Inya Lake, in the center of the city, they said.

Yes, the political situation there has been awful, but this is an event that transcends politics, for Burma and for America. Information about how average citizens can help is starting to trickle out -- here's a good link that helps with donations to a number of a relief agencies (This, for, for anyone from the United Kingdom).

Among some of the larger groups, here's information about what the American Red Cross is doing, (Their International Response Fund is here.) There's also more information at this Web site.

The story is still unfolding -- the other thing to do today is pray that the news doesn't get any worse.