Manila — More than 100 people were killed in the Philippine coastal city of Tacloban from Super Typhoon Haiyan, said authorities on Saturday in the first high casualty report as they began assessing damage from the storm.
Because much power and communications remain cut off a day after the typhoon swept through the region, it is impossible to know the full extent of the casualties and damage.
Four people were already listed as dead before the casualties from Tacloban came in, according to reports.
Officials feared the death toll would grow.
The country appears to have avoided an even worse disaster, however, because the rapidly moving typhoon blew through the region quickly before wreaking more damage, officials said.
The typhoon has been described as perhaps the strongest storm to ever make landfall in recorded history.
The destruction is expected to be catastrophic, as storm clouds covered the entire country, a distance equal to that between Florida and Canada.
The deadly wind field covered an area the size of Germany.
Ferocious winds tore roofs off buildings and giant waves reportedly washed away flimsy homes on the coastlines.
Weather officials said the typhoon had sustained winds of 235 kph (147 mph) with gusts of 275 kph (170 mph) when it made landfall, though some reports put the figures at 315 kph (195 mph) and gusts of 380 (235 mph).
“Haiyan” is the Chinese word for petrel, a type of seabird. In the Philippines the bird is called “Yolanda”, which is why Filipinos are calling the typhoon Yolanda.
The typhoon is expected to make landfall in Vietnam over the weekend.