UK & World News

  • 28 December 2013, 19:33

Philippines Typhoon Dead Remain Unburied

More than 1,000 victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan have still not been buried, seven weeks after the deadliest storm to ever hit the Philippines, according to locals.

About 1,400 corpses sealed into black body bags have been left in an open field in San Isidro, a village on the outskirts of the devastated city of Tacloban.

"The stench has taken away our appetite. Even in our sleep, we have to wear face masks," Maritess Pedrosa, who lives in a house about 20 metres from the field, said.

Haiyan killed 6,111 people as it battered the Philippines on November 8, while another 1,779 remain missing, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Tacloban and nearby towns were virtually destroyed by giant waves that swept inland as the storm hit.

Eutiquio Balunan, a local village chief, said people in San Isidrowere becoming sick because of the rotting corpses.

"We are requesting the city government to please bury the cadavers because our children and elderly residents are getting sick," he said.

"This place has become a fly factory."

Forensics experts at the site attemept to identify any bodies brought there before returning them to the families or placing them in a mass grave at a cemetery about two miles away.

Eight police officers guard the bodies. One told the AFP news agency they were under orders to prevent stray dogs from eating the corpses.

About four million people remain homeless following the typhoon.

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