The Philippines are working to recover from the devastating effects of Super Typhoon Haiyan after the powerful storm made landfall this weekend, leaving a path of destruction and death in its wake.
The storm ripped through small fishing villages and coastal towns, over turning cars and tearing down building with sustained winds estimated to have reached 195 miles per hour, winds gusting well over 200 miles per hour, and storm surges as high as 13 feet in some areas. The country is still recovering and it's almost impossible to estimate the final number of deaths caused by the storm because communications are completely cut in some areas, and debris is blocking rescue teams from accessing certain cities. Philippine officials estimated at least 400,000 people were in evacuation centers because of the storm. The National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council put the official death toll at 151, but cautioned that number would grow.
The city perhaps hit hardest by the storm was Tacloban, on Leyte Island. It was one of the first cities the storm hit after making landfall. Some officials estimate the storm destroyed 80 percent of the structures on Leyte Island. The death toll in Tacloban alone could reach into the tens of thousands, according to the government's internal estimate. "We had a meeting last night with the governor and the other officials. The governor said, based on their estimate, 10,000 died," police chief superintendent Elmer Soria told Reuters. "There are dead bodies in other towns. In Tacloban, maybe hundreds more or thousands more," Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon told the Wall Street Journal. "The storm surge was strong," he said.