Disaster agencies on Monday rushed to deliver body bags, food, water, and medicine to crowded evacuation centres in the southern Philippines as officials considered digging mass graves for hundreds killed in weekend flash floods.
The national disaster agency said 533 died and 309 remain missing, while the local Red Cross put the toll at 652 killed and more than 800 missing.
Casualties from the flashfloods exceeded the more than 450 people killed in 2009 when a tropical storm dumped heavy rains on the main Luzon island, inundating nearly the entire capital Manila.
Typhoon Washi slammed ashore in the Mindanao region of the Philippines while residents slept at the weekend, sending torrents of water and mud through riverside villages and sweeping houses out to sea.
In the aftermath, radio stations and local governments have been deluged by calls and appeals from survivors asking for help to bury the dead or find missing relatives.
"My suggestion is, so that illnesses won't spread, let's have mass graves," Benito Ramos, head of the national disaster agency, said in a radio interview. "This will be the discretion of local governments and the DOH (Department of Health)."
"From the helicopter, we saw four major river systems, all houses along the riverbanks were totally destroyed."