The president of the Philippines has said on Tuesday that the death toll from last week's killer typhoon may be lower than feared.
Calling the widely cited estimate of 10,000 dead "too much," President Benigno Aquino III told CNN's Christiane Amanpour that the final death toll from Typhoon Haiyan will likely be closer to 2,500.
"We're hoping to be able to contact something like 29 municipalities left wherein we still have to establish their numbers, especially for the missing, but so far 2,000, about 2,500, is the number we are working on as far as deaths are concerned," he said.
Officials and humanitarian groups said this week that they are extremely concerned for the welfare of the millions of survivors whose lives were decimated by the super storm.
Tomoo Hozumi, the Philippines' UNICEF representative, told CNN that necessities like food, shelter, clean water and basic sanitation were "in a severe shortage."
"The situation on the ground is very hideous," he said.
United Nations officials have said that more than 11 million people in the Philippines are currently in need of assistance, per The New York Times. This number includes the approximately 800,000 people who have been displaced.
“The level of destruction we're seeing reported is absolutely staggering," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said in a statement, according to the Agence France-Presse.