TACLOBAN, Philippines – As many as 10,000 people are believed to have died in one Philippine city alone when one of the worst storms on record sent giant sea waves, washing away homes, schools and airport buildings, officials said today. Ferocious winds ravaged several central islands, burying people under tons of debris and leaving corpses hanging from trees.
Weather officials said Haiyan had sustained winds of 147 miles per hour, with gusts of 170 mph, when it made landfall. By those measurements, Haiyan would be comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the U.S., and nearly in the top category, a 5.
Regional police chief Elmer Soria said he was briefed by Leyte provincial Gov. Dominic Petilla late Saturday and told there were about 10,000 deaths in the province based on reports from village officials in areas where Typhoon Haiyan slammed Friday.
Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim said that the death toll in the city alone “could go up to 10,000.” Tacloban is the Leyte provincial capital of 200,000 people and the biggest city on Leyte Island.