Then on October 3, this type of devastation visited again with Tsunami Parma. Altogether, the total impact of Ketsana and Parma left 929 people dead in the Philippines and hundreds of thousands homeless.
At the same time,many victims were forced to live in flooded areas with contaminated water that would, subsequently, cause widespread illness. Further, tropical storm Mirinae, last week, increased the number dead by twenty-seven in the Philippines while 87,000 were already living in temporary, often flimsy shelters due to the earlier storms when Mirinae struck.
Similarly, floods and mudslides took the lives of 143 in Nepal. (The Nepal circumstances, while occurring in tandem with the other disasters, are more directly related to the glacial melting in the Himalayas). In addition, the Tsunami that struck the South Pacific, after the 8.3 earthquake of September 29, left 183 people dead in Samoa, thirty-four in American Samoa and nine dead in Tonga.
Aside from the personal tragedies of the hundreds of thousands who have lost loved ones, homes and their livelihoods -- millions throughout the region who live or lived in low lying areas have been and will increasingly be at the mercy of rising sea levels in times to come. The low lying coastal regions of South India, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam, as well as the numerous Islands throughout the Pacific, Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and parts of the African coast already have perennial flooding and, with a rising sea level and greater frequency and intensity of typhoons and tsunamis, more international preparation, assistance and cooperation are needed than have been rendered to date.
All considered, I encourage people to help the many people deeply harmed by these recent Asian natural calamities. When doing so, please specify your desired country and cause. (All mentioned above are in great need). Meanwhile, here is a list of organizations specifically providing disaster aid: redcross.org, care.org, unicef.org, oxfam.org and crs.org (Catholic Relief Services).