Church used as makeshift hospital in typhoon crisis

The pews of a Catholic Church in central Tacloban are being used as hospital beds Credit: ITV News

In the middle of what was once a thriving Philippine city stands a Church that has become a home and hospital to hundreds of survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.

The pews of the building in central Tacloban are now beds for the wounded and weak in a city where food and medical supplies are still scarce.

One resident, a new mother, was forced to give birth in the doorway of the church, surrounded by the destruction of the typhoon.

ITV News' Asia Correspondent Angus Walker reports from Tacloban:

Just a few yards away stands what was the city's hospital, but it now stands empty.

As with most other local services, it can no longer open because staff are absent attending to their own families.

Read: Satellite images show extent of damage in Philippines

Aid has started arriving in Tacloban, but residents say the quantities are nowhere near enough.

The priest of the Church, Father Edwin Bacaltos, said his displaced congregation have not received any aid from the government.

A woman and child in the Church Credit: Reuters

There have been several reports of looting and even of desperate residents digging up pipes in the search for clean water.

Eight people were crushed to death when looters raided rice stockpiles in a government warehouse in the town of Alangalang, some 10 miles east of Tacloban.

Other looters still managed to cart away 33,000 bags of rice according to Orlan Calayag, administrator of the state-run grain agency National Food Authority.

Read: Eight killed in typhoon food crush

A woman puts a child to sleep behind the altar Credit: Reuters

Aid agencies say the most pressing concern is infections among those wounded in the typhoon and the spread of disease.