PHILIPPINES -- Super Typhoon Haiyan -- perhaps the strongest storm ever -- plowed across the central Philippines on Friday, leaving widespread devastation.
It roared onto the country's eastern island of Samar at 4:30 a.m., flooding streets and knocking out power and communications in many areas of the region of Eastern Visayas, and then continued its march, barreling into five other Philippine islands as it moved across the archipelago.
At least three people were killed and seven hurt, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Friday.
The state-run Philippines News Agency, citing unconfirmed TV reports, said "around 20" people drowned after a storm surge struck Friday morning in Palo, a town on the island of Leyte, which abuts Samar.
"Most of the fatalities sustained massive injuries in the head and upper part of the body, indicative that strong waves dashed them against hard objects," it reported, adding that nine of the dead were minors.
Experts predicted the casualty toll would soar once aid workers get to the hardest-hit areas.
About 125,000 people took refuge in evacuation centers, and hundreds of flights were canceled.
For more on this CNN story, click here.