One of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded now appears to have devastated cities, towns and fishing villages with heavy loss of life when it played a deadly form of hopscotch across the islands of the central Philippines on Friday.
Barreling across palm-fringed beaches and plowing into frail homes with a force that by some estimates approached that of a tornado, Typhoon Haiyan delivered a crippling blow to a huge area of the country’s midsection. Disorder and looting over the weekend compounded the destruction. This is on top of 7.2 earthquake that also struck the middle of the country just four weeks ago.
The typhoon left the city of Tacloban in ruins, as a storm surge as high as 13 feet overwhelmed its streets. Reports from the scene said that most of the houses in the city of 220,000 were damaged or destroyed. More than 300 bodies have already been recovered. There are unconfirmed estimates of over 10,000 dead.
This YouTube video shows the “ghastly scene” as it unfolded.