(CBS News) - A senior regional police official and a city administrator in the typhoon-ravaged Tacloban city in the central Philippines say the death toll there could reach 10,000 people.
Regional police chief Elmer Soria said he was briefed by Leyte provincial Gov. Dominic Petilla on Saturday and told there were about 10,000 deaths on the island, mostly by drowning and from collapsed buildings.
Tacloban city administrator Tecson Lim said that the death toll in the city alone "could go up to 10,000."
About 300-400 bodies have already been recovered, Lim said.
Earlier, Tacloban was in ruins Saturday, a day after being ravaged by one of the strongest typhoons on record, as horrified residents spoke of storm surges as high as trees and authorities said they were expecting a "very high number of fatalities."
The typhoon barreled through six central Philippine islands on Friday, wiping away buildings and leveling seaside homes. Most of the deaths and destruction were on Leyte Island, where Tacloban is located.
The typhoon weakened Sunday as it approached central and northern Vietnam where authorities evacuated more than 500,000 people.