It is a week since the horror of the earthquake destruction in Haiti. On the scale of disasters there has been nothing like it in modern history. The devastation is not the massive death toll alone. The heart of one of the world's poorest countries has been ripped out and Haiti will have to be rebuilt.
Haiti is no stranger to violence, which makes it all the more important US and UN troops are on the ground helping to protect relief supplies.
Donations are flooding in and it is a pity it requires the scale of Haiti's tragedy for the world community to find some sort of support for a common cause. The television pictures of Port-au-Prince laid waste prompts deeper reflections.
It reminds us that despite man's impudence we have not tamed nature and would be do well to take the best care we can of the planet.
The headlines from Haiti should make us thankful that the only natural hazards we have to face in our part of the world are snow-disrupted transport and icy pavements.
Finally, it makes it very difficult - in my case impossible - to believe that there is any deity let alone one who cares for mankind.