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Mass burial of Super Typhoon Haiyan dead underway in Philippines

Saturday January 4, 2014 - 14:12 EDT

Around one thousand victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines are finally being buried this week, eight weeks after they died.

The number of people who died and are missing in wake of the typhoon, known locally as Yolanda, has reached almost 8,000 with numbers continuing to rise.

Around 1,400 victims are yet to be buried in Tacloban City as authorities acknowledge that a shortage of technical personnel and continuous rains slowed the process of identifying the bodies.

Dr Siobhan Reddel from the World Health Organisation has assured they are trying to bury the dead as quickly as possible.

"Unfortunately, the weather is against us and we're trying to make sure that we get the burials done," she said.

The Philippines Department of Health secretary, Enrique Ona, visited Tacloban City to inspect the burial on Friday.

He said he was "pretty contented now with the efforts that is being exerted to hasten the burial of all the cadavers."

Authorities expect the burial to take around five days to complete.

A task force says it recovers an average of ten bodies a day in the outskirts of the city.

Many of the bodies have yet to be identified or claimed by relatives nearly two months since the massive typhoon struck the central Philippines.

In the latest update from the Philippines' National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council the toll stands at 6,166 with 1,785 still missing.

Nearly 29,000 others were injured when the typhoon struck the country on November 8, 2013.

ABC/wires


- ABC

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