Watching a tragedy from afar can leave you feeling helpless. But the facilities of the 'instant media' era are not just voyeuristic - they can make a vital difference - securing information, soliciting donations and assisting prompt and better targeted responses from NGOs and international bodies.
In a disaster situation like that in Chile, 'normal' communications are disrupted, but mobile technology can help to fill the gaps and make the crucial links.
MSNBC are running a real-time composite news blog on the situation in the South American region, following the massive 'quake there yesterday, as it unfolds. http://worldblog.msnbc.msn.com/#8 
The scale of appeals to follow, depending on assessments over the next 24 hours. But in the meantime Ekklesia wholeheartedly commends contributions to the Christian Aid emergency appeal, which is linking in to the global ACT (Action of Churches Together) network. Go to: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/emergencies/ 
Oxfam, Save the Children, the Red Cross and other NGOs are also doing vital work. Relief Web updates are available here: http://tinyurl.com/yzhfsp5 
The first Ekklesia report is here: 'Humanitarian response begins to massive Chile earthquake' - http://ekklesia.co.uk/node/11374 
Further updates can be linked here: http://ekklesia.co.uk/tags/1397