GALLERY: Philippine authorities struggling with relief effort

As authorities in this typhoon-ravaged nation struggled with a mass-scale relief effort, survivors said they were becoming increasingly desperate, short on food and supplies and terrified about waiting longer.

A few residents of hard-hit areas scrawled signs with a simple message: "Help us."

Nearly five days after the once-a-century winds of Typhoon Haiyan gashed the central Philippines, some aid workers say progress has been too slow. Many who want to help are waiting at airports and air bases, hoping to catch rides from the shorthanded Philippine military.

The typhoon cut a path through the middle of the country, directly affecting about 10 per cent of the population. The government's official death tally stood at 1744, but thousands of others are missing and the toll is expected to climb.

Though more than 30 countries have pledged aid so far, the distribution of goods has been held up by a daunting set of problems. Some roads are impassible. Many towns lost their own emergency workers.

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