700 buried after Philippine flood
Authorities in a flood-stricken southern Philippine city have organised this week the mass burial of nearly 700 people who were swept to their deaths in one of worst calamities to strike the region in decades
Authorities in a flood-stricken southern Philippine city have organised this week the mass burial of nearly 700 people who were swept to their deaths in one of worst calamities to strike the region in decades.
The death toll from last weekend's disaster, spawned by a tropical storm, remained little changed but the number of missing varied widely. Official figures put the missing at 82, while the Philippine Red Cross estimated 800.
The disparity underscores the difficulty in accounting for people who could be buried in the mud and debris littering much of the area or could be alive but lost in crowded evacuation centres or elsewhere.
In Iligan, a coastal industrial hub of 330,000 people, the mayor, Lawrence Cruz, said the city's half a dozen funeral parlours were full and no longer accepting bodies.
The first burial of 50 or so unclaimed bodies took place last Monday in individual tombs at the city cemetery.
"For public health purposes, we're doing this. The bodies are decomposing and there is no place where we can place them, not in an enclosed building, not in a gymnasium," Cruz told the Associated Press.
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