Lacson: Burial of Yolanda victims to be finished next week

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

MANILA -- After almost two months since super typhoon Yolanda hit the country, the government could only complete the burial of the rotting cadavers in Tacloban City by Tuesday next week, official said Saturday.

"It's been moved to Tuesday, weather permitting," said Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary Panfilo Lacson in a text message to reporters when asked when the burial of some 1,400 cadavers in Tacloban City will be completed.

Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Janette Garin was in Suhi, Leyte personally supervising the burial, he said, adding that she sent additional personnel in the area.

Lacson also said that the Department of Public Works and Highways sent additional backhoe and payloaders to hasten the mass burial.

"They target to process and bury 300 today (Saturday)," he added.

Meanwhile, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the fatalities were being buried in temporary mass gravesites.

She said the temporary burial sites will allow still-unidentified bodies to be exhumed once forensic teams need to process them for identification.

"Nagsimula na kasi sila magkaroon ng temporary mass site. At ang usapan nila ay pwede silang ma-exhume as needed," Valte said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.

She added that the National Bureau of Investigation Disaster Victim Identification Team had returned to Tacloban City last Thursday to resume the processing of the remains.

Over 6,100 people were killed when Yolanda struck the country last November 8. (SDR/Sunnex)

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