(TACLOBAN, Philippines) — With time of the essence, U.S. Navy ships are now assessing the damage done by last week’s monster typhoon in the Philippines while preparing to bring in boatloads of emergency support, including medical care and water supplies.
Rear Adm. Mark Montgomery, the commander of the George Washington Strike Group, said his ship and four others were positioned off the east coast of Samar island in the Leyte Gulf.
Food supplies and close to 2,000 gallons of water were transported Thursday to the city of Tacloban, which endured much of the death and destruction brought by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms in modern history.
Meanwhile, two dozen helicopters are taking part in operations to airlift the most grievously injured of the survivors from Tacloban to the George Washington.
As of Friday morning, there were at least 3,631 confirmed deaths from the typhoon, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, with the death toll possibly reaching 10,000 once a more accurate assessment can be made. As many as 11 million people were affected by Haiyan, which the Filipinos refer to as Yolanda.
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Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN