A some of you know, my brother spent a few years living in Chengdu, near where the recent 7.9 magnitude earthquake
was centered. He is now back in the US, but his wife still has family in Dujiangyan, which is where the epicenter was. After a day of worried attempts to contact them, she finally heard from her mother via cell phone this morning. Apparently everyone in her family is all right, but their apartment is trashed and they don't know yet how badly the building is damaged. They've been sleeping outside because of fear of the aftershocks, some of which have reached between 4 and 6 in magnitude. It's a rather helpless feeling sitting here safe in San Francisco and knowing that people in that area are so badly hurt and the cities and towns devastated, especially when some of those people are, by extension, family. Mrs. Generik and I traveled through that area in 2004, and so have a little better appreciation for the terrain and the people than we otherwise would have.
Like many of you, I'm sure, our thoughts and sympathy and good wishes go out to all who have been affected by this terrible occurrence, with hopes for the best in the near future. Probably the best thing to do at this point is to donate funds to an organization that you trust*
to help with the recovery and rebuilding of the Sichuan area.