Hours after monster Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, more than 100 people have been reported dead in the eastern Leyte province alone and, according to local authorities, many of the corpses were lying on the streets.
Deputy Director of Civil Aviation Authority of Philippines (CAAP) John Andrews has said more than 100 people have also been injured as the super-storm ripped through the province.
"We received a message from our station manager in Tacloban and his message stated that 100 plus dead lying in the streets with 100 plus injured. They were requesting medic operations, medical evacuation and relief," Andrews told a Manila television channel.
Messages from authorities in Tacloban are relayed to officials in Manila only every four hours through another airport in order to conserve radio batteries.
The eastern province shelters about 1.7 million people and was directly in the path of the tropical cyclone, locally known as Yolanda. Hundreds of houses have been destroyed by the floods and powerful winds. Leyte was one of the provinces which witnessed sustained winds of up to 315kmph.
Echoing a similar message, Philippine lawmaker Rene Almendras said, "We are very concerned about the situation there. Our priority now is reaching as many people who need help as possible. Our focus is on rescue and relief operations."
Damages in other two island provinces of Samar and Bohol also could not be assessed immediately as the storm crippled the transportation and knocked out power supply.
The death toll is likely to rise sharply as many of the affected regions remain unreachable. Haiyan was probably the most powerful storm ever to hit the landmass.
"Yolanda brought massive damage and almost no houses were left standing. Many were reported killed and we are trying to get initial numbers so we don't get shocked by the increase," said Reynaldo Balido, spokesperson for the Philippines disaster relief agency.
The storm is expected to accelerate further over the South China Sea en route to Vietnam, where it is expected to cause more havoc.