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MANILA — The powerful typhoon that swept across the Philippines on Friday, one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall, cut a path of destruction through several central islands, leaving the seaside city of Tacloban in ruins and leading to early, unconfirmed estimates of as many as 10,000 dead.
Wire reports quoted the city administrator of Tacloban suggesting that the death toll could reach 10,000 in his city alone. A police official gave an identical estimate, citing the governor of the area, who had spoken with officials in villages that had been hit, according to wire reports.
The government disaster agency said it could confirm only about 150 deaths so far from Typhoon Haiyan, although the president said he expected the number to rise significantly. The Red Cross in Manila said earlier on Saturday that its people on the ground were reporting an estimated 1,000 deaths on Leyte Island, where Tacloban is, and about 200 on the neighboring island of Samar.
“The local Red Cross chapter has seen many bodies,” Gwendolyn Pang, the secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, said in a text message. “An actual body count has to be done to determine the exact number.”
The destruction, which has taken down phone service in many areas, made confirming any of the accounts difficult.
Philippine Typhoon Death Toll Feared in Thousands (Published 2013)
One of the strongest storms ever to make landfall cut a path of destruction through several islands, leading to early, unconfirmed estimates of as many as 10,000 dead.
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