Originally Posted by ncjohn
While I certainly can't speak for God any more than Michael
, a look through at least modern history would seem to suggest a lack of correlation between these kinds of catastrophes (or blessings!) and the actions of nations.
While the "why do bad things happen to good people" question (and of course its reverse "why do good things seem to happen to bad people?") is a difficult one, my gut feeling is that God suffers with us in these things but that He does not directly bring them on.
I remember feeling particular revulsion when I heard that same argument applied to the victims of the tsunami.
The CCC refers to this as kind of event as "physical evil" as opposed to moral evil. It is terrible, but not necessarily indicative of a punishment from above.