Faithful Flock to Church in Devastated Philippines, Offering Prayers for the Dead and Thanks for Their Lives

Despite the overwhelming number of people in need, survivors of Typhoon Haiyan gathered in damaged churches on Sunday to give thanks for what they still have and to remember and pray for those lost.

Santo Nino Church in Tacloban was able to survive the devastating storm, but did not come through unscathed as its roof was ripped off and its insides flooded.

Those in attendance were grateful to have made it through the storm but understood the great toll it took on those around them. So far 3,681 people have been confirmed dead and a staggering 4 million have been displaced.

One of those grateful to be alive was Rosario Capidos, 55, who took her nine-year-old grandson, Cyrich, to church thankful she and her family were able to survive.

"That's why I'm crying," Capidos told Reuters. "I thank God I was given a second chance to live."

The government has pegged conservative estimated damage to infrastructure and agriculture at roughly $300 million.

Still, the problems facing the people of the Philippines will not go away quickly and could linger after the United Nations stated that economic and human costs could continue to rise if relief efforts are not able to respond fast enough.

Crops, such as rice, are a main source of income for many in the country and if aid does not get to rice-growing regions soon farmers could miss out on next year's yield.

Many others on the coast rely on fishing to supplement their income but the storm destroy much of what fisherman depended on to feed their families.

"The destruction of boats, fishing gear, fish ponds and related equipment left many families with no means of livelihood and decreased protein intake," the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement.

It is estimated that as many as 25 million people are affected, with local reports describing houses damaged and large trees uprooted after a storm surge of over 20 feet crashed onto shore with winds reaching over 200 mph.

"There's an awful lot of casualties, a lot of people dead all over the place, a lot of destruction," Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine Red Cross, told the BBC. "It's absolute bedlam right now, but hopefully it will turn out better as more and more supplies get into the area."

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