The chemical explosion at West Fertilizer Co. shook the ground and the community of West Texas last Wednesday, April 17th. At the time, however, it seemed like just another disaster smashed in the middle of Boston’s high-profile bombings and the subsequent manhunt. But that ares of Texas suffered much more damage than Boston. And although it’s not getting as much press as the marathon tragedy, helping the community of West Texas is just as important as aiding Boston right now.
Statistically, West Texas suffered a heavier toll than Boston last week. International Business Times reports that the Texas explosion killed 14 and injured over 200. Boston’s bomb killed 3 and injured 140.
The fertilizer plant especially ravaged its surrounding neighborhoods. According to CBS News, ” The blast scarred a four-to-five block radius that included a nursing home, an apartment building and a school,” damaging about 80 homes. Evacuated residents were only tentatively let back into their homes on Sunday, under a 7 PM-7 AM curfew which is still in effect.
Many who lived close to the explosion are still waiting to return home. Some don’t have homes to go back to.
The recent events in Texas and Boston have unsettled everyone, including us in Seattle, who live thousand of miles away. Many of us fear for the safety of family and friends in those areas, and others without such claims still feel deeply affected by such heartbreaking happenings.
The truth is that these two explosions caused severe pain, and the victims of both incidents deserve our compassion and, more importantly, our help. In this horrific aftermath, the question on everyone’s mind is, What can we do in the face of so much suffering?
My best answer is to provide aid to those who were, and still are, affected by the tragedies. The Desert News recently put out a list of ways to support the injured in Texas as well as Boston. The Federal Trade Commission also published a set of guidelines to avoid charity scams and help pick which organizations will send your money and your good thoughts to the right places.