It's hard for me to put into words what I feel about the Indian Ocean mega-quake and the devastation wrought by the ensuing tsunamis. Stalin, himself responsible for killing more than 40 million people, perhaps had it right when he said that one death is a tragedy, but a million deaths is a statistic. So it's the individual stories of heroism and tragedy that really make the disaster real for me.
When I heard an Indian woman speak openly to a BBC cameraman about how she tried to hold on to her 4 young children, but lost them all to the waves, I broke down and cried. An Australian mother realised that she would only survive if she let go of one of her 2 sons, and so had to decide which one she was going to let loose. In the end, she saved her 2-year-old son, but her 5-year-old son fortunately managed to save himself, even though he couldn't swim. An 18-month-old baby from Kazakhstan was found alive on a rooftop - unfortunately, both of his parents are reported dead. And the terrible stories just go on and on...
Our next-door neighbours flew out on holiday to the Maldives on Xmas day. Luckily, I believe that they were still in the air when the waves struck, but we haven't heard anything from them yet.
If you're in the UK, probably the best place to donate online is this Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) page. As Nike might say, just fucking do it.
[Update: An amazing story from Columbo in Sri Lanka. 3 days after the tsunamis, a volunteer was shifting dead bodies on a mud bank when he came across a small bundle. When he turned the bundle over, he found himself face-to-face with a smiling 9-month-old baby. The baby is now in intensive care, but reported to be doing well.]