Al Jazeera's Jamela Alindogan said that the local government fears that the death toll could reach thousands, estimating possibly tens of thousands in Leyte province alone.
Describing her experience during two hours in the eye of the storm, Jamela said:
"At 4:45am local time, we started feeling the wrath of the typoon, we moved to the second floor, from there I could see roofs being blown away.
In ten minutes the water started going up really quickly, and we were trapped, we in the hotel with the other guests, all stuck and had no where to go, so we broke into a small stock room where the supplies were and we managed to get in.
Me and my colleague climbed up to the roof near the ceiling ready to jump to the water and we managed to find empty barrels to hold so we could float if we wanted to jump.
We were holding on to the ceiling and the whole roof blew away in an instant, and for the next two hours it was just like that.
The noise, the sound was incredible, is hard to explain, it's like a beast just there, and you can't see but you can feel it and there is just debris flying everywhere, for two hours we were exposed.
From there we made out way out, everything we had had been swept away, except the clothes on our backs.
And we started to see a lot of dead people around, everything has been flattened, everything has been destroyed, it was a ghost town and it's incredible how just two hours of this massive typhoon destroyed this whole province.
It's unknown what the rescue situation is, we're not seeing a rescue operation but we're just seeing a lot of helicopters overhead. There is looting, we need security as the situation becomes more desperate it becomes more precarious.
The government is saying it tried to conduct forced evacuations of many coastal villages, as many people live by the coastline.
The government is estimating at about 20, maybe 30,000 people must have been killed, and I think those stuck in the water will die as the rescuers cannot reach them any time soon."