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Monday, December 19, 2011

Filipinos prepare mass graves for storm victims

Via ABC News :

" Authorities in the Philippines are preparing for mass burials to cope with the death and destruction caused by tropical storm Washi at the weekend.

The death toll stands at more than 650 with more than 900 still missing after flash flooding and landslides that swept away entire villages in the middle of the night.

The Red Cross says most of those killed were women and children.

Morgues and hospitals on the island of Mindanao are struggling to cope with the dead and injured in an area that is desperately poor and wracked by conflict.

Local authorities plan to bury unidentified bodies in mass graves to try to avert a disease outbreak and to reduce pressure on mortuaries which are now turning away the dead due to lack of space.

"Today we will dig a mass grave and bury the unclaimed bodies as well as those in an advanced state of decomposition," Iligan's mayor Lawrence Cruz said on national television.

He said up to 50 of about 300 bodies recovered in Iligan since Washi struck in the early hours of Saturday will be communally buried.

Television footage from an Iligan mortuary showed a corridor lined with bodies awaiting burial, wrapped in white plastic bags bound tightly with tan-coloured packaging tape."

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