Tacloban City was inundated with storm surge during Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), damaging property and flooding homes. The death toll is expected to be high.
“It’s very very high. Flooding is chest deep. It’s definitely the worst. Devastation will be severe,” Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez told Rappler.
In the city, communications lines were also down.
“The last time I spoke to Mayor Alfred Romualdez was around 7:30. It was low tide then, a prelude to the storm surge. We now see that Downtown Tacloban is flooded,” he told the website.
“Almost all houses were destroyed, many are totally damaged. Only a few houses are left standing, but with partial damages,” Major Rey Balido told Reuters.
Photos and video footage uploaded on Twitter on Friday show downtown Tacloban flooded with water and debris.
The state-run Philippine News Agency reported that the armed forces will fly to Tacloban.
Reports from GMA News say that dozens of people died in Tacloban and nearby areas.
Officials, however, said that four people have been killed.
Catholic Relief Services told the news agency that relief teams are heading to hard-hit areas.
“The pain of another disaster is devastating. We’re currently moving tarpaulins to Cebu City so that we can provide 8,000 families with inevitable shelter needs. Our response teams are traveling to the areas hardest hit to determine exactly what people need and how CRS can help them,” CRS’ regional director for Southeast Asia Greg Auberry told the agency.