When tragedy strikes, people get praying. People were probably already praying, but when something so obviously out of control of the hands of people occurs in dramatic fashion, many people look to God. Help save the people trapped, give us comfort, calm our fears, show us your love, give us understanding.
It is entirely human to long for trnascendence when the unpreventable and surprise disaster occurs. When something like the collapse of a major bridge in a major city during rush hour happens, it is a reminder that even with all of the power and control we have as humans and with all of the technology there is available to us, we are most certainly not in control.
What we want in times like these is to know that there is a power that exists that is bigger than the disaster. We want to know that we are not just balls of carbon based cells subject only to the whims of probability and chance. We want to know that we are not only loved, but loved by someone or something that can do something in this world.
We turn to God. Not everyone does, but most people do. Maybe God is a human creation as a way of coping with pain and fear. Maybe God is real and listens to what we say in these prayers in times of tragedy. Maybe God created people with the need for God and that we do turn to God as a way of coping adn God exists. It takes faith to believe anything about God since there is no empirical proof solid enough to justify the belief in the existance or non-existance of God.
For most people, their faith rests in the existance and not the non-existance of God - especially when sudden tragedy strikes.
I believe in God. I believe God allows great freedom and intervenes on it at will and that intervention cannot be explained by ideas about how people believe God is supposed to love or care or act. God acts and is justified in doing so.
God is present at every tragedy humanity can create for itself. In all liklihood, most of the tragedies are intervened upon and no one ever knows it because it never happened. However, of the few that are permitted, God is there and willing to flow though anyone, believer or not, to help people.