UPDATE: 10,000 Now Estimated Dead In Record Typhoon Strike
Tacloban, Philippines (CNN) — A day after Super Typhoon Haiyan roared through the Philippines, officials predicted that the death toll could reach 1,200 — or more.
“We estimate 1,000 people were killed in Tacloban and 200 in Samar province,” Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross, said of two coastal areas where Haiyan hit first as it began its march Friday across the archipelago.
No one is saying that number won’t rise
A provincial police chief reportedly said that local government estimates point to as many as 10,000 feared dead alone in Leyte province, which includes Tacloban. According to AFP, Chief Supt. Elmer Soria said that this figure came out of a Saturday night meeting with the governor of Leyte.
National police and the military sent reinforcements Sunday to prevent looting in the hard-hit city of Tacloban. News video showed people breaking into grocery stores and cash machines in the city, where there had been little evidence of authority since midday Friday.
The store break-ins were attributable to a severe lack of food. Relief efforts were hampered by heavy damage to the airport and trees and debris blocking roadways.
In signs of progress, the road to the airport was cleared Sunday and helicopters were making regular flights.