Philippine President Benigno Aquino has vowed to stay in the typhoon-battered center of the country until he is satisfied with efforts to help survivors of a devastating November 8 storm.
Mr. Aquino made the pledge Sunday as he visited the hard-hit central islands of Samar and Leyte, where thousands of people flocked to ruined churches for weekly prayers. Some gave thanks for surviving Super Typhoon Haiyan, while others prayed for the souls of the thousands of people who were killed.
Sunday services typically are a time of reflection in the Philippines, whose population is 80 percent Roman Catholic.
The pace of international aid deliveries to the typhoon zone also gained momentum. U.S. military helicopters brought food to remote areas and were mobbed by hungry and thankful residents.
The Philippine government says the typhoon killed at least 3,974 people and left about 1,200 others missing. Many of them were swept away and drowned in a huge storm surge triggered by one of the strongest cyclones on record to make landfall anywhere in the world.