ALL DAY [OCTOBER 1], people dropped off plastic bags of clothes and shoes, towels and bedding at Crossroad Calvary Chapel in San Jose [California], offerings of help and hope from the local Samoan community for the catastrophe in their native land almost too great to comprehend.

Another group is preparing for the orphans who will be left in the wake of a magnitude 76 earthquake in Indonesia.

Four near-simultaneous natural disasters—two earthquakes, a typhoon, and a tsunami—in the Pacific and Southeast Asia have washed away villages, leveled schools and office buildings, ripping apart, perhaps obliterating generations of families in a mere two days. But the damage is not confined to there.

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