Update: On November 10, Reuters reported that officials in the Philippines estimate that more than 10,000 people lost their lives in the typhoon. If you'd like to help the recovery efforts, visit the Philippine Red Cross website to make a donation.
On Thursday morning, Super Typhoon Haiyan began its sweep across the central islands of the Philippines, leaving in its wake massive environmental destruction and a death toll estimate that's surged from 100 to 1,200 in a matter of hours.
Super Typhoon Haiyan is reportedly among the strongest typhoons ever recorded, with wind gusts that at times reached as high as 235 mph.
Red Cross and U.N. disaster relief teams are reporting widespread power outages, downed bridges, and entire neighborhoods that have been reduced to rubble.
United Nations Disaster Assessment Coordination Team Chief Sebastian Rhodes Stampa said, "The last time I saw something of this scale was in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean Tsunami," he said. "This is destruction on a massive scale. There are cars thrown like tumbleweed, and the streets are strewn with debris."
The loss of life is already staggering, and preliminary reports estimate that tens of thousands of survivors lost their homes and their livelihoods.