MANILA — Rescuers hauled up bodies with fishing nets Saturday off the Philippine island of Leyte, where more than 7,000 people may have died in devastating floods, relief officials said.
Navy boats and fishermen retrieved hundreds of corpses from the sea outside the port of Ormoc, bringing the death toll to 5,365 with 2,046 other people missing and presumed dead, said officials in the Leyte provincial capital of Tacloban.
"There is a possibility the death toll will go up to close to 8,000," said Aurora Laboy, administrative officer for the Leyte disaster coordinating council. The missing "are most likely dead by now. We have no more hope for them."
She added that most of the bodies recovered Saturday were believed to have been washed up to the Ormoc shore from other islands that were struck by tropical storm Thelma on Tuesday.