Official death toll from typhoon disaster rises to 1,744

A man stands on the ground floor of his damaged house after super typhoon Haiyan battered Palo, Leyte province. Credit: Reuters/Erik De Castro

The Philippines government has raised the official death toll from the typhoon disaster to 1,744 people, but the final number is expected to be much higher.

Desperate survivors are pleading for food, water and medicine as rescue workers begin their daunting task.

A resident gets water from a hose in Palo, Leyte province in central Philippines. Credit: Reuters/Erik De Castro

Bloated bodies lie uncollected and uncounted in streets and the final death toll is likely to be unclear for many days to come.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said "we pray" the number does not pass 10,000.