Inside Typhoon Haiyan victims' fight for survival

A scene inside a Tacloban, Philippines, hospital, CBS News recently visited. The hospital is functioning on a generator and doctors are using candles to see at night as they work on up to 1,000 patients a day since Typhoon Haiyan struck.

The USS George Washington aircraft carrier arrived off the Philippines Thursday morning to help with Typhoon Haiyan recovery efforts. It's been six days since the powerful storm hit. More than 11 million people are affected and more than half a million people remain homeless. The death toll has topped 2,300 people. Crowds of people are waiting at the airports, trying to escape the destruction.

CBS News' Seth Doane, reporting from the hard-hit city of Tacloban, said, "This is a place of so many questions. As we drive through town, people ask us, 'When will I have water? When will I have power or food? The questions and discussions we keep hearing among people who live here; 'will you stay or will you go?' The situation here is quite critical, but aid is starting to trickle in."

Doane reported the relief effort in the city is now a 24-hour operation, with the airport running at night for the first time since the disaster struck.

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For days, panic and desperation have gripped the city. The situation so dire, it prompted the United Nations' top relief official Wednesday to plead for more help. Valerie Amos said, "You can't have people who are here, who are desperate, who can't have anything to eat and don't have water. It's absolutely basic!"

Just outside the city, mobs stormed a rice warehouse collapsing a wall that crushed eight people to death.

Tacloban's government-run hospital is on life support. Dr. Lory Reutas told CBS News they normally see 100 patients a day. Since the typhoon, that number has soared to 1,000. Blood on the floor was hardly a concern.

"We don't have electricity, we don't have water, and, of course, food," said Reutas.

Asked how they run a hospital if they don't have those things, Reutas said they light candles; "We had to sew stitches using candles."

Now there's at least a generator, but it's not enough to power the lights on the Catholic shrine outside a room where a 4-year-old waited to be airlifted to a hospital that could perform surgery.

Her father, Norman Decatimbang, told CBS News, "I'm worried that her wound is getting infected -- if there were only equipment and no blackouts here maybe I'd be more comfortable."

But at least the hospital is functioning. Midwife Floradiama Nueves Bu-oy, from another remote clinic, brought her nine-month pregnant patient to the hospital.

"We have to move on, we are trying to help people," she told Doane.

Mass burials in the city began Thursday for the thousands of people who died in the disaster.

More bodies are continually being pulled from the mud and debris.