10,000 Dead from Typhoon in One Philippine City Alone
November 11, 2013 • 11:16AM

According to AP, as many as 10,000 people are believed dead in one Philippine city alone, as a result of Typhoon Haiyan. Officials projected the death toll could climb even higher when emergency crews reach areas cut off by flooding and landslides.

Haiyan hit the eastern seaboard of the Philippine archipelago on Friday and quickly barreled across its central islands before exiting into the South China Sea, packing winds of 235 kilometers per hour (147 mph) that gusted to 275 kph (170 mph), and a storm surge that caused sea waters to rise 6 meters (20 feet).

Local officials on hardest-hit Leyte Island said that there may be 10,000 dead in the provincial capital of Tacloban alone. Reports also trickled in from elsewhere on the island, and from neighboring islands, indicating hundreds if not thousands more deaths.

“All systems, all vestiges of modern living—communications, power, water—all are down,” Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said after visiting Tacloban on Saturday. “There is no way to communicate with the people.”

The massive casualties occurred even though the government had evacuated nearly 800,000 people ahead of the typhoon. About 4 million people were affected by the storm, the national disaster agency said.

Haiyan appears to have killed many more people than the previous deadliest Philippine storm, Thelma, which killed around 5,100 people in the central Philippines in 1991.The deadliest disaster on record was the magnitude 7.9 earthquake in 1976 that triggered a tsunami in the Moro Gulf in the southern Philippines, killing 5,791.

Tacloban, in the east-central Philippines, is near the Red Beach on Leyte Island where U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur waded ashore in 1944 during the Second World War and fulfilled his famous pledge, “I shall return.”

It was the first city liberated from the Japanese by U.S. and Filipino forces and served as the Philippines’ temporary capital for several months.

UNICEF estimated that about 1.7 million children are living in areas impacted by the typhoon, according to Tomoo Hozumi, the agency’s representative in the Philippines.