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November 10, 2013 AT 5:52 AM
The Department of Defense said in a statement late on Saturday night that “At the request of the government of Philippines, Secretary Hagel has directed U.S. Pacific Command to support U.S. government humanitarian relief operations in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan". Chief superintendent Elmer Soria, a regional police director, said that the death toll could climb as high as 10,000 on the island of Leyte after storm surges as high as trees and wind gusts reaching 175 mph destroyed towns and villages. The national government and disaster agency have not confirmed the latest death toll -- a notable increase from Philippine Red Cross estimates on Saturday of about 1,000 people killed.