Tragedy In China
Since I first posted this, the Chinese government has estimated that the death toll may reach at least 50,000 and has issued a public appeal for rescue equipment. Since China's government seldom issues such appeals, as their own resources are extensive, this is an indication of how very tragic and desperate the situation is. Of course, the magnitude of the earthquake indicates it released roughly 600 megatons of energy, so widespread damage and devastation was sure to result.
If you visit the American Red Cross' informational page on this disaster, you will see that there are only a few things you can do. Do not donate supplies as an individual or as the result of a collection. If you own a company and are able to donate in bulk, please contact the Red Cross to see if they can use your help.
Even if you were able to drop everything and rush to China, the Red Cross asks that you not do this. In any case, by the time you could arrive, it would probably be too late for those who need help most. If you can spare a donation, read the Red Cross page and earmark it for post-earthquake disaster relief in China at the time you donate.
Even if you are broke, there is one thing you can do. Copy this post, with my full permission: I waive any and all Copyright rights in this post and place it forever in the public domain. Get the word out. Countless buildings are destroyed, survivors are huddling in the rain on piles of rubble, and every bit of help will make a real difference. Please, if you do nothing else, let the world know of this opportunity to help those in desperate need in Sichuan Province, China.
Please do whatever you can to help your fellow human beings, and at the very least pass this along in the blogosphere.