Rescue boats and helicopters scrambled Wednesday to find almost 300 passengers, including scores of high school students, missing after a ferry sank off the southwest coast of South Korea.
Of the 459 people on board, 164 have been rescued, the security ministry said.
Many jumped from the listing ship to the freezing waters of the Yellow Sea.
The bodies of at least four people - a female and three males– were confirmed dead. About 292 remain unaccounted for, the ministry said.
The rescue operation was still underway Wednesday evening, hours after the ferry first sent out a distress signal.
Authorities could not immediately say what caused the ship to sink. The weather at the time of the incident was clear.
Typhoon Haiyan has killed too many people to count so far and pushed to the brink of survival thousands more, who have lost everything, have no food or medical care and are drinking filthy water to survive.
By Tuesday, officials had counted 1,774 of the bodies, but say that number may just be scratching the surface. They fear Haiyan may have taken as many as 10,000 lives.
The storm has injured 2,487 more, and displaced 660,000 people from their homes, the government said.
CNN's Anna Coren went out on a C-130 Hercules with the military today to one of the hardest hit areas. "It was the first hit that was hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan," she says. "And actually flying over, it was absolutely devastated. Nothing was standing.”
As authorities rush to save the lives of survivors four days after Haiyan ripped the Philippines apart, a new tropical depression, Zoraida, blew in Tuesday delivering more rain, the Philippine national weather agency PAGASA reported.
Zoraida is not a strong storm, but it is holding up desperately needed aid in at least one province, Iloilo, where Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. has grounded relief flights, until it has passed.
Boats and trucks will still operate, but like in many areas, whole houses, vehicles, trees and debris piled high cover miles of roadways in affected areas.
It will take heavy machinery and much time to clear them, and although international supplies that have begun to arrive by at airports, much of it is still not getting through to people who need it most.
“As far as the cleanup and the misery and the work that’s been piling up for the rescue teams and the relief teams, it's still just an enormous task,” reports CNN’s Andrew Stevens. “Meanwhile, the task of finding and bearing the dead continues.”
Survivors root through the splintered wreckage of their homes searching for loved ones who may be buried beneath. Others are scrambling to find food and water in areas littered with corpses.
Three days after Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms in recorded history, scythed across the central Philippines, people here are struggling to grasp the enormity of what they have lost and the challenges they still face, CNN's Anna Coren reports.
The storm, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, has left devastation on a monumental scale in its wake.
Thousands of houses have been obliterated. Many areas are still cut off from transport, communications and power. Some officials say that as many as 10,000 people may have been killed.
"There are too many people dead," said Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross. "We have bodies in the water, bodies on the bridges, bodies on the side of the road."
And amid the carnage, hundreds of thousands of survivors are trying to cope with a lack of water, food, shelter and medicine. Aid workers and government officials are battling to get emergency supplies to hard hit areas, which have been cut off by fallen trees and power lines.
The United Nations is working to bring in aid, says Spokeswoman Orla Fagan.
Fagan describes the situation to "New Day's" Kate Bolduan saying, “It’s devastating. The whole place is devastated. The government figures now are saying it’s 9.8 million people affected by this typhoon. Getting to them in the first instance is top of our priority now.”
The humanitarian says she expects the recovery effort will take six months initially but "it’s going to be really really big. Everybody is gearing up, it will be a massive operation to get to people, to get them food, and to deal with the trauma as well."
See more at CNN.com.