The power of social media during crisis

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 2, 2015

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake in central Nepal has left devastation in its wake. According to BBC News, the death toll has surpassed 6,200 with about 14,000 injured while thousands are still unaccounted for.

Although vast oceans lay between the continents, the Internet has a way of pulling everyone closer together.  Social media has once again proved the power it yields. Recently, Facebook placed a banner at the top of users’ newsfeeds asking them to donate money to support the International Medical Corps Nepal earthquake relief effort.

In two days, users donated more than $10 million and Facebook donated an additional $2 million, according to the Washington Post.

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Undoubtedly, social media makes it easier for people to help those in need. Not everyone can afford to send an airplane stocked with pounds of food or jet to the devastated areas to personally lend a helping hand.

However, most people can afford to donate a couple of dollars and make a difference from miles away. If everyone steps up and donates money, whether it’s $5 or $1,000, it could make a huge difference to those affected by the earthquake. According to BBC News, three million people are in need of food, 130,000 houses were destroyed and 24,000 people are living in makeshift camps.

The current situation in Nepal is alarming. It will take a lot of financial support worldwide to rebuild the areas devastated by the earthquake in order for the country to begin recovering from the natural disaster. While it will be a slow and arduous process, it’s possible. Several countries and organizations have already donated millions of dollars, supplies and personnel to help the people in Nepal.

Individuals can make a small difference just by donating online. Currently, there are several websites accepting earthquake relief donations, including Save the Children, the Red Cross, Global Giving and Friends Service Council Nepal, according to Time Magazine.

While the country is grieving, it’s only a matter of time until they can start rebuilding what they have lost.