Complete destruction: Philippines typhoon damage revealed in photos. More than 10000 people dead.

TACLOBAN, Philippines — Bloated bodies lay uncollected and uncounted in the streets and desperate survivors pleaded for food, water and medicine as rescue workers took on a daunting task Monday in the typhoon-battered islands of the Philippines. Thousands were feared dead.

The hard-hit city of Tacloban resembled a garbage dump from the air, with only a few concrete buildings left standing in the wake of one of the most powerful storms to ever hit land, packing 147-mph winds and whipping up 20-foot walls of seawater that tossed ships inland and swept many out to sea.

There was no one to carry away the dead, which lay rotting along the main road from the airport to Tacloban, the worst-hit city along the country’s remote eastern seaboard.

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At a small naval base, eight swollen corpses — including that of a baby — were submerged in water brought in by the storm. Officers had yet to move them, saying they had no body bags or electricity to preserve them.

Authorities estimated the typhoon killed 10,000 or more people, but with the slow pace of recovery, the official death toll three days after the storm made landfall remained at 942.

However, with shattered communications and transportation links, the final count was likely days away, and presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said “we pray” it does not surpass 10,000.

‘I don’t believe there is a single structure that is not destroyed or severely damaged in some way’

“I don’t believe there is a single structure that is not destroyed or severely damaged in some way — every single building, every single house,” U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy said after taking a helicopter flight over Tacloban, the largest city in Leyte province. He spoke on the tarmac at the airport, where two Marine C-130 cargo planes were parked, engines running, unloading supplies.

Authorities said at least 9.7 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon, known as Haiyan elsewhere in Asia but called Yolanda in the Philippines. It was likely the deadliest natural disaster to beset this poor Southeast Asian nation.

“Please tell my family I’m alive,” said Erika Mae Karakot as she stood among a throng of people waiting for aid. “We need water and medicine because a lot of the people we are with are wounded.”

The Associated Press

EPA/Dennis M. Sabagan

EPA/Dennis M. Sabagan

EPA/Dennis M. Sabagan

EPA/Dennis M. Sabagan

AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

AP Photo/Bullit Marquez

Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

Tara Yap/AFP/Getty Images

Tara Yap/AFP/Getty Images

Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

Tara Yap/AFP/Getty Images

Tara Yap/AFP/Getty Images

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