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‘Yolanda’ kills 300 in Samar – official

/ 01:54 PM November 10, 2013

A general shot shows houses destroyed by the strong winds caused by typhoon Haiyan at Tacloban, eastern island of Leyte on November 9, 2013. AFP

MANILA, Philippines – At least 300 were confirmed killed and 2,000 people were missing from typhoon-battered Samar province, a local disaster official said on Sunday.

Engineer Leo Dacaynos of Samar Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Council said in a radio interview that the number of fatalities from the wrath of “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan) has been “confirmed.”

“Storm surges went up to 20 feet which drowned the people,” he said, adding that there were about 2,000 missing people.

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He could not immediately cite figures but he said there were also many injured.

“Acting Governor James Tan is focusing on the municipality of Basey. It is heavily damaged so we also could not enter the municipality of Marabut — the road leading to this area is impassable. This is also a coastal municipality facing Tacloban City,” Dacaynos said.

The Department of Public Works and Highways is now taking charge of the operations to clear the roads leading to Marabut.

“The municipality of Basey is asking for help. They need food, supplies, water. They are running out of water. That is what they need right now – the basic needs,” Dacaynos said.

Official records from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said there were at least 151 killed because of the typhoon.

But the death toll from local disaster agencies and police in other affected areas in Luzon and Visayas also come in dozens as reports come in. The Philippine Red Cross earlier estimated 1,200 could have been killed. A regional police chief estimated that there could be 10,000 killed in Leyte alone.

In Tacloban City in nearby Leyte province, bodies were scattered on the streets.

The provinces of Samar and Leyte were among the hardest hit areas by Yolanda. The typhoon made its first landfall in Eastern Guiuan in Samar at its peak strength early Friday, with winds of 215 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 275 kph. It is the strongest cyclone to make landfall in world history as US meteorologists put it. It made five more landfalls before it left the Philippine area of responsibility on Saturday afternoon.

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“There is news blackout there. Power and communication lines were cut. We are using radio communications,” Dacaynos said of Eastern Samar.

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