Super Typhoon Rai - with winds of about 195km/h (120mph) - sent some 300,000 people running for safety when it hit the country's south-eastern islands.
Rescue teams have described scenes of "complete carnage".
But establishing the scale of the losses is difficult, as communication to a number of areas has been cut off.
There are fears widespread landslides and flooding may have claimed more lives.
"Many areas have no power, no communications, very little water," the chair of the Philippines Red Cross, Richard Gordon, told the BBC.