TACLOBAN: One of the most powerful storms ever recorded killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines province of Leyte, a senior police official said on Sunday, with coastal towns and the regional capital devastated by huge waves.
Super typhoon Haiyan destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of the area in its path as it tore through the province on Friday, said chief superintendent Elmer Soria, a regional police director.
Most of the deaths appear to have been caused by surging sea water strewn with debris that many described as similar to a tsunami, which levelled houses and drowned hundreds of people.
The national government and disaster agency have not confirmed the latest estimate of deaths, a sharp increase from initial estimates on Saturday of at least 1,000 killed.
“We had a meeting last night with the governor and the other officials. The governor said, based on their estimate, 10,000 died,” Soria told Reuters. “The devastation is so big.”