Rising Despair as Officials Struggle to Get Aid to Victims

CEBU, the Philippines — An American aircraft carrier headed to the Philippines on Tuesday on an emergency mission to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan as the situation on the islands became increasingly desperate, with food and water supplies running low and bodies lying uncollected in the streets of at least one devastated city.

Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan waited for a military plane at the airport in Tacloban.

The George Washington, which carries 5,000 sailors and more than 80 aircraft, left a port in Hong Kong that it had been visiting, its crew recalled from shore leave.

Philippine officials found themselves on the defensive Tuesday over the pace of relief efforts as Manila struggled to get supplies to the airport in the city of Tacloban, where as many as 10,000 people were feared dead and most of its residents were struggling to get basic foodstuffs and water four days after the typhoon struck on Friday.

“We’ve asked the U.S. for aid and the secretary of defense says they are sending an aircraft carrier and a couple other ships — those are en route,” said Ricky Carandang, a spokesman for the Philippine president, Benigno S. Aquino III….

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