One of world's strongest storms slams Philippines

Updated November 9, 2013, 2:19 AM ET

MANILA, Philippines One of the strongest storms on record has killed more than 100 people and injured another 100 in the central Philippines as it wiped away buildings and leveled seaside homes before sweeping west toward Vietnam on Saturday, still packing destructive winds.

Capt. John Andrews, deputy director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, said he had received "reliable information" from his staff describing the death and destruction Typhoon Haiyan wreaked in Tacloban city on Leyte Island, where the storm made landfall Friday.

He told The Associated Press that more than 100 bodies were lying in the streets and another 100 were injured.

He said civil aviation authorities in Tacloban, about 580 kilometers (360 miles) southwest of Manila, reported that the seaside airport terminal was "ruined" by storm surges. Radio messages to the capital, Manila, had to be relayed through another airport in the central Philippines once every five hours to conserve radio batteries.

Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, a senior aide to President Benigno Aquino III, said that the number of casualties could not be immediately determined, but that the figure was "probably in that range" given by Andrews. Government troops were helping recover bodies, he said.

U.S. Marine Col. Mike Wylie, who surveyed the damage in Tacloban prior to possible American assistance, said that the damage to the runway was significant. Military planes were still able to land with relief aid.

"The storm surge came in fairly high and there is significant structural damage and trees blown over," he told the AP. Wylie is a member of the U.S.-Philippines Military Assistance Group based in Manila.

People stand at the pier as Super Typhoon Haiyan smashes into coastal communities on the central island of Bacalod on November 8, 2013. One of the most intense typhoons on record whipped the Philippines, killing three people and terrifying millions as monster winds tore roofs off buildings and giant waves washed away flimsy homes. AFP PHOTO / Julius Mariveles (Photo credit should read JULIUS MARIVELES/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP/Getty Images

Relief workers said they were struggling to find ways to deliver food and other supplies, with roads blocked by landslides and fallen trees.

Weather officials said Haiyan had sustained winds of 235 kph (147 mph) with gusts of 275 kph (170 mph) when it made landfall. By those measurements, Haiyan would be comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane in the U.S., nearly in the top category, a 5.

Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are the same thing. They are just called different names in different parts of the world.

As CBS News' Seth Doane reported, Vietnam is expected to get the worst of it this weekend and then the storm heads towards China - where officials here have already warned people to prepare for "high seas" and "monster waves."

The typhoon's sustained winds weakened Saturday to 163 kph (101 mph) with stronger gusts as it blew farther away from the Philippines toward Vietnam.

Vietnamese authorities in four central provinces began evacuating more than 500,000 people from high risk areas to government buildings, schools and other concrete homes able to withstand strong winds.

"The evacuation is being conducted with urgency and must be completed before 5 p.m.," disaster official Nguyen Thi Yen Linh by telephone from central Danang City, where some 76,000 are being moved to safety.

Hundreds of thousands of others were being taken to shelters in the provinces of Quang Ngai, Quang Nam and Thua Thien Hue. Schools were closed and two deputy prime ministers were sent to the region to direct the preparations.

The typhoon was forecast to make landfall around 10 a.m. Sunday between Danang and Quang Ngai and move up the northeast coast of Vietnam.

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