At least 1,200 people were killed, according to an estimate from one Red Cross official.
Survivors of what was described as the largest storm ever to make landfall described towering waves that swept away all but the hardiest shelters.
One resident of the hard-hit central Philippine city of Tacloban said he and others took refuge inside a parked Jeep to protect themselves from the storm, but the vehicle was swept away by a wall of water.
Survivors were described as being in desperate need of clean drinking water and food as officials continue to survey the damage Friday’s super typhoon left in its wake.
Haiyan packed sustained winds of 147 mph, with gusts up to 170 mph, and heavy rains when it made landfall early Friday. 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.
Authorities said it flattened hundreds of homes and triggered mudslides, flash flooding and a storm surge with waves of up to 30 feet. Authorities said almost 800,000 people were evacuated to emergency shelters.
So far, government officials have confirmed just 138 deaths. At least 118 of those were on hardest-hit Leyte Island, where Tacloban is located, national disaster agency spokesman Maj. Reynaldo Balido told The Associated Press.
But Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, said preliminary counts from teams on the ground indicated that at least 1,200 people had perished — 1,000 people in Tacloban and at least 200 more in the Samar province.
Pang said the numbers came from preliminary reports by Red Cross teams on the ground.
Wow! Pray for them!