Tacloban gov’t buys lot as mass grave for 1,400 unburied ‘Yolanda’ fatalities



The city government of Tacloban has bought a 6,000-square meter lot for the mass burial of some 1,400 corpses still unburied almost two months after Super Typhoon Yolanda battered the city last Nov. 8.

Tacloban City Councilor Jerry Uy said in a phone interview Monday the unburied bodies have caused anxiety among residents since millions of flies have invaded the city, feasting on bodies wrapped in cadaver bags.

They also complained of the stench which was bothering them even while they were sleeping.

Uy said the burial site is located in Barangay Basper, some 10 kilometers north of Tacloban.

The corpses have remained unburied seven weeks after the typhoon because the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has not finished identifying the bodies as requested by surviving relatives.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said 6,155 people had been killed and 1,179 others are missing.

Yolanda’s storm surge carried a huge cargo ship and several smaller boats anchored off the city wharf several meters inland.

The ship is still stuck in a residential area near the city pier.

The NDRRMC said 3,424,593 families or 16,078,181 people in 12,139 villages in 44 provinces were affected, while 890,895 families or 4,095,280 people were displaced by the typhoon.

It also said that of those displaced, 20,924 families or 101,527 people are still staying in 381 evacuation centers in various parts of Tacloban City.




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  1. Catastrophic as the destruction brought about by Super Typhoon Yolanda maybe, the more tragic thing that happened to the victims and their grieving families, was the absence of respect and compassion in the handling of their bodies. Almost two months after Typhoon Yolanda struck, 1,400 cadavers of victims in body bags were left in an open field near Tacloban feasted by millions of flies and posing serious health risks to people living nearby.

    What kind of uncaring morons do we have in our local and national governments who allow such disrespect to the bodies of our countrymen to happen? The bodies were not even put in refrigerated warehouses to make identification by officials and relatives easier. In Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami that killed hundreds of thousands of people, they did the identification efficiently in refrigerated rooms and then accorded the dead with respectful burials or cremations. They gave heart-touching, nationwide memorials as well to remember their dead.

    Not so in our country. Life in our impoverished land, if one is poor, doesn’t mean much. That’s why our idiotic public officials in Leyte, DILG and DoH who are in-charge of handling these victims’ bodies treat them as nothing but trash.