(Fox News) Authorities expect a “very high number of fatalities” after one of the strongest typhoons on record devastated central Philippines, cutting communications and severely damaging an airport in one of the hardest-hit regions.

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, according to the Associated Press.

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.

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