Bodies still washing up in Leyte almost 6 months after Yolanda
The online news portal of TV5
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines -- Close to six months since super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) smashed into Eastern Visayas last November 8, bodies continue to wash ashore and be retrieved in Leyte, both by authorities and civilians.
Even the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, which had come under fire for keeping a tally that, to critics, seemed to dowplay the real toll, posted an update earlier this month.
The last NDRRMC update on Yolanda, posted April 17, said seven bodies had been added to the list of fatalities in Tacloban City, bringing the total of deaths from the storm to 6,300.
The agency said there had been no change in the number of missing persons -- 1,061.
However, the Bureau of Fire Protection’s Regional Office 8 said its Special Rescue Unit had retrieved 10 cadavers in Tacloban and nearby Palo town between April 1 and 24.
This brought the SRU’s tally of recovered bodies to 2,681, or more than a third of total deaths recorded by the NDRRMC.
There is practically no way the SRU or, for that matter, the NDRRMC can record the number of bodies recovered but not reported by storm survivors.
And no one will probably know how many more will never be found.
For example, in Tacloban’s Barangay 85 San Jose, resident Al Octaviano, 37, said he personally retrieved several corpses after Yolanda.
“Umabot sa 14 ang nakuha kong mga bangkay -- dalawang bata, apat na babae at mga lalake na ang iba. Itinali ko nga para hindi sila anurin ng dagat, pero alam mo naman pag nakababad sa dagat maghihiwa-hiwalay ‘yan. Marami pa ding mga buto ang nakahalo sa putik sa mga baybayin, pero hindi na nire-report ng mga tao ‘yan (I personally retrieved 14 bodies -- two children, four women, the rest were men. I tied them together so they would not be washed away by the sea, but you know when bodies are immersed in seawather, they fall apart. There are also many bones buried in the mud of the shallows, but people don’t report these anymore)” Octaviano told interaksyon.com.
Al Octaviano points to where he found dead bodies after super typhoon Yolanda in the waters off Barangay 85 San Jose, Tacloban City. (photo by Lottie Salarda, InterAksyon.com)
Other residents confirmed they still see the traces of bodies along the shore.
The death toll from the super typhoon, the strongest storm to hit land last year, became controversial early on after then Eastern Visayas police director Chief Superintendent Elmer Soria was sacked after President Benigno Aquino III took exception to the officer's estimatem given immediately after Yolanda struck, of at least 10,000 deaths.
In an interview over international news channel CNN, Aquino dismissed Soria's estimate as the result of "emotional trauma" and gave his own estimate of no more than 2,000-2,500.
However, taken together, the NDRRMC's clearly incomplete tally of dead and missing, plus the fact that bodies continue to be found and many more may be lost forever indicate that Soria was right after all.
- Philippines eyes P19.2-B spending for El Niño mitigation programs 4 hours from now
- Comelec forming guidelines for presidential, VP debates 4 hours from now
- Koko Pimentel says VP Binay is not immune from suit 4 hours from now
- US discusses South China Sea plans with Australia 3 hours from now
- Jollibee Foods buys 40% stake in US burger chain for $99M 2 hours from now
- Chief presidential legal counsel Caguioa named ad interim Justice secretary 2 hours from now
- VIDEO | Pascual Racuyal, possibly the best president we never had 1 hour from now
- Flight MH17 shot down over Ukraine by Russian-built Buk missile, Dutch report says 1 hour from now
- VIDEO | Comelec to sift CoCs and purge 'nuisance' candidates 53 minutes from now
- VIDEO | Trillanes a gossip - VP Binay on claim that he could be eased out by substitution 8 minutes from now
- MNLF and MILF unite, call for passage of undiluted draft BBL 28 minutes ago
- Mark Villar: 'Time for my baby daughter, not the Senate' 56 minutes ago
- Turkey warns US, Russia against backing Kurdish militia in Syria 56 minutes ago
- Francis Zamora files candidacy for San Juan Mayor, Calixto in Pasay 1 hour ago
- COC DAY 2 | Presidential bets now 37, 7 for VP, 25 for senator 1 hour ago