An estimated 10,000 people are dead in the central Philippine city of Tacloban, a senior police official told reporters Sunday, two days after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the island nation.
The storm, which some said was one of the most powerful ever recorded, tore through Leyte province Friday with wind gusts as high as 250 mph. U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy told The Associated Press that Haiyan virtually destroyed
every structure that was in its path.
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"I don't believe there is a single structure that is not destroyed or severely damaged in some way — every single building, every single house," he said after touring the damage by helicopter.
The official death toll, which was recorded as 942 as of Monday, is expected to quickly reach the 10,000 mark as rescuers find more and more victims. The U.S. has dispatched Marines and Navy sailors to assist with recovery efforts as bodies remain hanging from tree branches, scattered on sidewalks, and buried under rubble.
Though about 800,000 people were evacuated before the storm hit, those remaining were not at all prepared. Even the set-up shelters weren't any match for Haiyan, which is called Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines.
"Imagine America, which was prepared and very rich, still had a lot of challenges at the time of Hurricane Katrina, but what we had was three times more than what they received," Gwendolyn Pang, Philippine National Red Cross executive director, told the AP.
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