According to experts, no disaster in 40 years has surpassed the magnitude of last week's quake-induced tsunami. So far, over 50 countries from 5 major continents have reported their civilians amongst the dead and missing. Currently, the death toll has reportedly reach over fourteen hundred thousand with many more missing.
The global response towards this disaster has been tremendous with thousands of locals lending support in various forms, including donations surpassing US $2 billion. Also, foreign aids and relief supplies have already reached most disaster areas. Disaster areas previously cut off due to impassable road conditions have also begun recieving aid.
At the Vatican, Pope John Paul II announced. “We are all a part of earth." Leaders within the Catholic community have also urged Catholics worldwide to aid the ongoing relief efforts.
Archbishop Rowan Williams commented, “If there are any religious faith has not been greatly affected by this disaster that caused over 150,000 deaths, then there is a big problem. Every reckless and accidental death brings disturbance to the comfortable and conventional answers of faith. Facing this kind of paralyzing large-scaled disaster, we naturally will feel angry, and helpless.”
Therefore, “How can you believe in the God that allows suffering of this scale to occur?” This problem is very urgent. If it is not urgent, then in reality then something is wrong.” Williams says in the end when they faith is challenged by such horror, Christians should unite together to “interact passionately with those that are still alive.”
Williams stated that enduring faith overcomes each of the obstacles one by one, and doesn’t only provide people simply with comfort and explanation. So, William said, believers cannot deny the possessions that God has given to them.
According to an estimation given by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Anan, tsunami-stricken countries would need no less than 5-10 years and about US $10 billion to fully recover from this natural disaster.
Annan is scheduled to arrive at the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on January 6 to attend the Earthquake and Tsunami International Conference. At the conference, Annan will hold talks with leaders of tsunami-stricken nations to discuss matters concerning relief and reconstruction issues.