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In pictures: Typhoon Haiyan devastates Philippines

Photo: AFP

One of the most powerful storms ever recorded killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines on Friday as huge waves swept away coastal villages and devastated one of the main cities in the region.

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Typhoon Haiyan, which slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday, is the strongest typhoon of the year and one of the strongest storms on record. It also appears to be the deadliest storm – and natural disaster – on record to hit the Philippines,

At least 10,000 people were killed, while police sources said between 70 and 80 percent of structures in the super typhoon Haiyan’s path through the centre of the country were destroyed.

Most of the deaths appear to have been caused by surging sea water strewn with debris that many said resembled a tsunami, levelling houses and drowning hundreds of people.

Nearly 480,000 people were displaced and 4.5 million "affected" by the typhoon in 36 provinces, the national disaster agency said, as relief agencies called for food, water, medicines and tarpaulins for the homeless.

Witnesses and officials described chaotic scenes in Leyte's capital, Tacloban, a coastal city of 220,000 about 580 km southeast of Manila which bore the brunt of the disaster, with hundreds of bodies piled along roads and pinned under wrecked houses.

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