Astronaut Snaps Photo of Huge Typhoon

Death toll from Haiyan in Philippines was at 100 and rising quickly

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 9, 2013 6:00 AM CST

(Newser) – Super Typhoon Haiyan is done with the Philippines, but it will take some time to get a handle on the death toll—now at 100 and rising—and the damage. In the meantime, US astronaut Karen L. Nyberg took a photo from the International Space Station that provides the best sense yet of Haiyan's immense scale, notes the Epoch Times. On the ground, authorities say at least 100 are dead, with the city of Tacloban on Leyte Island appearing to take the biggest hit from the storm, reports AP. But Reuters says the toll is expected to "rise sharply" as communication is restored.

"The last time I saw something of this scale was in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami," says a UN disaster official in Tacloban. "This is destruction on a massive scale. There are cars thrown like tumbleweed and the streets are strewn with debris." Meanwhile, Haiyan is headed to Vietnam, where mass evacuations are underway. It weakened to a category 4 storm today with sustained winds of 101mph, but meteorologists say it could pick up speed as it travels over the South China Sea.

This image of Typhoon Haiyan was taken by astronaut Karen L. Nyberg aboard the International Space Station.   (AP Photo/NASA, Karen L. Nyberg)
A vehicle lies amid debris in Tacloban city, in Leyte province.   (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
In this aerial image, damaged buildings and houses are seen Saturday in Tacloban city.   (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
Debris litters the road by the coastal village in Legazpi city.   (AP Photo/Nelson Salting)
A man reinforces his house with banana stalks as Typhoon Haiyan hits Legazpi city, Albay province, in the Philippines on Friday.   (AP Photo/Nelson Salting)
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