Living with uncertainty is the reality of existence, says Sande Ramage. Pretending otherwise by constructing systems and traditions that look reliable is a human preoccupation, until we are stopped in our tracks by disaster such as that which has struck Christchurch.
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.
A massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Chile at 03.34 local time on Saturday 27 February. The extent of the damage is still difficult to determine, but buildings have collapsed and more than 300 people are already reported dead.
The Jubilee Debt Campaign has urged the total cancellation of Haiti’s international debts following the recent earthquake. Two-thirds of the country's debt was cancelled last year, but Haiti still owes $641 million.
Haiti's capital "looks like a war zone", and one million people are without shelter following the devastating earthquake that shook the Caribbean nation, the ACT Alliance global network of churches and related agencies has warned.
After a really difficult 72 hours, emergency assistance is beginning to get through to earthquake-ravaged Haiti, said the UK Disasters Emergency Committee. Aid distribution has begun but logistics are still very difficult, says the UN.