In streets littered with debris, cadaver crews in the Philippines continue to collect more and more bodies, bringing the death toll to 3,621 in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.
But that number continues to grow. Crews are moving the bodies from the streets, but searching underneath the rubble in the upcoming days will prove challenging.
Those who have survived the storm are preparing to weather what’s to come. According to the state news agency, 12,165 people have been injured. And if medical aid, food and clean water doesn’t reach the area soon, those numbers will dwindle as the death toll rises.
Sickness, hunger and thirst have settled in with the sticky, humid heat and stench of rancid flesh hanging over the apocalypse the cyclone left behind.
Traumatized survivors under improvised shelters have kept watch over bodies of husbands, wives and children who perished and have decomposed in the sun.
CNN recalls the story of one survivor who is dealing with such horror.
Juvelyn Taniega tried to keep busy. She collected old dishes and cleaned them up, crouching on the ground near the spot where her home once stood and the place where she last saw her husband and six children alive.
She’s found the bodies of three of her children, but three of them are still missing. In days, she said, no one has come to help.
But parents aren’t the only ones looking for loved ones. Children are left wandering the streets with parents nowhere in sight.
Children are most vulnerable, UNICEF spokesman Kent Page told CNN’s Anderson Cooper. It’s hard to keep them safe, and to give them what they desperately need.
“Health, nutrition, getting them clean water, good sanitation, protection, and we have to consider education also,” Kent says.
“Schools have been wiped out and getting kids into child friendly spaces, where they can feel protected, where they can get a chance to play, where they can get a sense of normalcy back in their life after going through such a devastating experience is very important.”
As always, our prayers are with the victims of this devastating storm.