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Unidentified bodies piling up in Tacloban

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 01:20

Nov. 19 - Forensics team in Tacloban undertakes massive task of body identification. Julie Noce reports.

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It's a daunting task- identifying hundreds of corpses in typhoon ravaged Tacloban in central Philippines. A small team of just six people are working around the clock to identify the quickly decaying bodies. But without more forensics personnel, it's a painfully slow procedure. Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez. (SOUNDBITE)(English ) MAYOR OF TACLOBAN, ALFRED ROMUALDEZ, SAYING: "It's going very slow. It's a process that was not studied or thought of. That's why I'm saying that, since in this country we always have this problem, every year we're hit by strong typhoons. There must be a template already for this. It's about time our government prepares for the next storms." The process of body identification is crucial. With the official death toll at nearly 4,000, victims families are eager to get information on missing or lost loved ones. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST, RAQUEL DEL ROSARIO-FORTUN, SAYING: "Well, it's very important to try and identify each body, especially for the families. That gives them closure. You know, some of them are crying 'I just want to get the body.' Because that means they're confronted with the idea that he's really dead, or she's really dead." There are more than 1000 bodies at this site alone, but forensic officials say with such a small team they can only examine about 15 bodies per hour.

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Unidentified bodies piling up in Tacloban

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 01:20