Manila : Rescuers in the central Philippines counted at least 100 people dead and many more injured today, a day after one of the most powerful typhoons on record ripped through the region, wiping away buildings and levelling seaside homes with massive storm surges, reports AP.
With communications and roads still cut off, Captain John Andrews, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority, said he had received “reliable information” by radio from his staff that more than 100 bodies were lying in the streets of the city of Tacloban on hardest-hit Leyte Island.
It was one of six islands that Typhoon Haiyan slammed into yesterday. Regional military commander Lt General Roy Deveraturda said that the casualty figure “probably will increase,” after viewing aerial photographs of the widespread devastation caused by the typhoon, which was heading toward Vietnam after moving away from the Philippines.
Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, a senior aide to President Benigno Aquino III, said that the number of casualties could not be immediately determined, but that the figure was probably in the range given by Andrews. Government troops were helping recover bodies, he said.
Civil aviation authorities in Tacloban, a city of 200,000 located about 580 kilometres southeast of Manila, reported that the seaside airport terminal was “ruined” by storm surges, Andrews said.
US Marine Colonel Mike Wylie, who surveyed the damage in Tacloban prior to possible American assistance, said that the damage to the runway was significant.
Military planes were still able to land with relief aid.
“The storm surge came in fairly high and there is significant structural damage and trees blown over,” said Wylie, who is a member of the US-Philippines Military Assistance Group based in Manila.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement that America “stands ready to help.”