11/17/2013 at 09:00 AM EST
Adel Siguan traveled 22 hours by boat to reach her 8-year-old son and bring him much-needed drinking water
after Typhoon Haiyan
destroyed their small fishing town in Guiuan, Philippines.
Just before reuniting with her child, Siguan expressed the desperation she had felt for the last day.
"Of course I can't sleep, I can't eat. I can't eat, I can't really," she said. "I don't know what to do. Because I'm eager to know what's happening to him."
As family members find their way back to each other, local authorities in Guiuan are finding inventive ways to communicate with the capital, Manila, without phones or reliable electricity.
They are gathering handwritten notes in cardboard boxes and flying them to Manila and other locations. One of the notes reads: "Pedro Valdez and Hermenio Baldeo are OK and alive. From Johnny Madoko."
Elsewhere in this small community, a Catholic priest marveled that no one was inside when the roof collapsed on a 400-year-old church that the Spanish had built.
"The irony of it is, people's faith gets stronger every time calamities like this happen," he said.
To help organizations working to provide relief to storm victims, click here.