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Haiyan leaves death and destruction in the Philippines

Massive damage has been left in the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan along with soaring death estimates. The government in Manila has said 4.5 million people have been impacted by the storm.

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Typhoon Haiyan devastates Leyte province

The Philippines struggled to help countless survivors of Friday's typhoon on Sunday. Alone, in the central island province of Leyte, its police chief Elmer Soria put the death count at 10,000.

Filipino rescue workers appeared overwhelmed. News was still awaited from the archipelago's outlying areas as possibly millions of survivors sought food, drinking water and shelter.

A medical student in Leyte, Jenny Chu, said: "People are walking like zombies looking for food."

The Philippine government said at least 4.5 million people had been impacted by Friday's ferocious winds and storm surge waves. Some 630,000 residents need emergency shelter, it said.

'All systems down'

Filipino Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said "all systems are down" at many locations of the islands of Leyte, Samar and Cebu. "There is no power, no water, nothing. People are desperate. They're looting."

Visiting Leyte province's devastated city of Tacloban, President Benigno Aquino said looting had indeed become a major concern. Only 20 police officers had turned up for work, said Aquino, adding that 300 additional police and soldiers would be sent to "bring back peace and order."

Philippine-born Australian Mila Ward said she passed "well over 100" dead bodies as she headed for a flight from Tacloban's damaged airport.

Philippine Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas said what he saw of Tacloban during an over-flight was "horrific."

"From a helicopter, you can see the extent of devastation. From the shore and moving a kilometer (0.6 of a mile) inland, there are no structures standing. It was like a tsunami," Roxas said.

At the Vatican, Pope Francis led tens of thousands of people in silent prayer for the victims on Sunday. The Philippines has the largest number of Catholics in Asia, and Filipinos are one of Rome's biggest immigrant communities.

ipj,hc/pfd (AP, AFP, Reuters, kna, dpa)

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