The Philippine Star reports that as many as 10,000 people are believed to have died in Tacloban City alone when typhoon Yolanda slammed into the Visayas region last week, according to local officials who were gathering information on the extent of the devastation caused by the storm.
The report quoted regional police director Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria as saying that Leyte Gov. Dominic Petilla told him late Saturday (November 9) that "there were about 10,000 deaths in the province, mostly by drowning and from collapsed buildings." In contrast, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council's (NDRRMC) official death toll stood at 229 as of 7 p.m. Sunday (November 10).
NDRRMC refused to confirm Petilla's estimates although several experts and government officials have said the death toll can reach thousands. The provinces of Samar and Leyte bore the brunt of typhoon Yolanda's fury when it barrelled through Visayas last Friday (November 8). Based on wind speed and gusts, the typhoon was said to be "comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the United States."
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