Nightly News   |  November 10, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan’s total destruction still unknown

The storm may be the most violent to ever make landfall. Power is out and both water and food are in short supply. NBC’s Angus Walker reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> is responding to the collective cry for help from the central philippines. what we're hearing now as many as 10,000 lives were swept away under what may be the most violent typhoon to ever make landfall. the u.s. military tonight has joined nasaive operation to bring relief to coastal towns that have been wiped from the map. others buried under the field of barely recognizable debris. the power is out. water and food in short supply and bodies remain to be recovered. official say close to a half million people have been displaced tonight. all many can do is pray for those they've lost and pray for relief. our team is in place to cover it all. we began in tacloban , philippines.

>> reporter: good evening. i'm standing in part of what remains part of tacloban airport . tonight families are forced to take refuge in the wreckage. there are dead bodies crudely covered still lying in the streets not far from where i'm standing. the death toll now feared to be around 10,000. this amateur video obtained by filipino broadcaster abs/cbn shows the moment of impact. a waffle water 20 feet high by some accounts, crashing into tacloban . leaving the city of 220,000 in ruins. storm chaser jim rode out the storm in a hotel in tacloban . he captured these images during the height of deluge.

>> the wind was coming at me. it was really eerie. it would pick up and gust. it would get so strong in bursts that you couldn't stand up. most people that i saw got in trouble with the storm surge . the combination of the wind and water coming at you was just too much.

>> reporter: the winds of 150 miles an hour, typhoon haiyan knocked out communication and destroyed 70% to 80% of structures in leyte province and nearly all in tacloban . food and water are in short supply and residents cover their noses to avert the smell of bodies. this pregnant woman , jenny de la cruz lost 11 menmbers of her family when the waters rose. she said right now all we can do is survive the day but i don't know what will happen tomorrow or the day after that. today the president of the philippines toured the city.

>> especially those are injured. the need for food.

>> reporter: tacloban 's airport was badly damaged by raging floodwaters. now, hundreds wait there desperate to leave. the young and the frail allowed to go first. this woman is 63. she barely survived. her family didn't.

>> my husband --

>> reporter: she only has what she stands in. security now a concern with tv footage showing widespread looting. one official calling on the government to declare martial law . at this hour, a massive relief operation is underway as the situation grows ever more desperate. the runway here is still intact and the airports are flying in and out. beginning to rescue the many thousands who are desperate to leave. this is fast becoming a major international humanitarian airlift. lester?