Missions of Mercy
January 5, 2005

In the aftermath of the tsunami disasters, Hollywood is rolling up its sleeves and taking action, lending a helping hand to the victims of the disaster.

"Extra" has learned stars like Susan Sarandon, Julianne Moore, Dustin Hoffman and Debra Messing will donate their time to a telethon. We've also learned another telethon is being planned for NBC stations on January 15th. George Clooney, Christina Aguilera, Tim McGraw and Sheryl Crow will participate in that one.

Meanwhile, "Good Morning America" has had an artist on every morning this week to perform and raise money; Wednesday it was Wynonna Judd. "Here we are in the worst of times and yet music is such a healer," Wynonna said.

We met up with Rob Bourndon and Chester Bennington of the rock band Linkin Park, who were among the first celebrities to offer their support to relief efforts. They've also been deeply touched by the suffering and the group has joined "Music for Relief," a coalition of musicians raising money for victims. Chester told us they'll be working to put a benefit concert together.

Athletes are also helping out. Laker star Kobe Bryant is one of several players who have pledged to donate $1,000 for each point they score in an upcoming game.

But along with helping, for many celebrities there is also heartbreak. Leonardo DiCaprio, in Rome promoting "The Aviator," appeared on "Good Morning America" to discuss the tragedy. "When I heard about the news I was completely devastated," Leo admitted.

Leo's "Aviator" co-star Cate Blanchett talked about the tragedy on the red carpet, observing that, "The earth has shifted off its axis and things are changing. You never -- for one second -- forget it, no matter how bright the lights are."

On Wednesday, Oprah Winfrey opened her show with an emotional tribute to Nate Berkus, a regular on her show who survived the tsunami. She revealed he is now back home recovering, but still anxiously awaiting word on his friend, celebrity photographer Fernando Bengochea, who is still missing.

Now, the question is what other parts of the world are at risk? Time magazine Science Editor Philip Elmer-DeWitt outlined tsunami danger zones for us, saying "There were eighty tsunamis that hit the coast of California over the past two hundred years."

Danger zone include California, Hawaii, Florida and Africa, but Elmer-DeWitt notes that we are much better prepared than Asia. "We'll get a big one eventually," he stated. "We're not likely to lose one-hundred-and-fifty to two-hundred-thousand people."

As people in Asia mourn the missing and try to get their lives back together, Americans are stopping everything to try and lessen their pain.


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