Yolanda death toll continues to increase

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

ALMOST two months since super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) ravaged Eastern Visayas, the number of casualties continues to rise, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) reported Tuesday.

In an interview, NDRRMC spokesperson Major Reynaldo Balido Jr. said the disaster agency continues to count the bodies being recovered in areas hit by Yolanda, considered as the worst cyclone to hit land last year.

"There might be some delays but once the report comes, we see to it that we update our records real time," he said.

The spokesperson clarified the earlier report that cadavers without death certificates were not being counted.

"Kahit 'yung mga katawan na un-identified kasama na agad sila sa bilang and the death certificates are not individual death certificates, it is in a list form," Balido said.

The identification group was composed of members from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police Scene of the Crime Operatives (PNP-Soco) and the Department of Health (DOH).

"May tag na inilalagay sa mga katawan if ever may mag-claim sa kanila," he said.

Balido reiterated the NDRRMC was not deliberately hiding the real number of deaths as the agency gets its reports from the provincial disaster councils in the Eastern Visayas.

President Benigno Aquino III said in the aftermath of the typhoon that he is not expecting a large number of casualties from Yolanda.

From January 3 to January 5, there was no movement in the number of death caused by the typhoon, which was at 6,166. On January 6, 17 more bodies added to the list, the NDRRMC said.

"Hindi namin inaalis ang possibility na madagdagan pa ang bilang ng mga namatay. Kung madagdagan man, agad naman namin itong ilalabas at ipapaalam sa publiko," Balido said.

Typhoon Yolanda devastated the Visayas region on November 8. (Sunnex)

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