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Typhoon-struck Philippine city begins mass burial

  • Children run towards a U.S. military aircraft as it arrives to distribute aid to Typhoon Haiyan survivors in the destroyed town of Guiuan, Philippines on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. Aid was beginning to reach some of the half-million people displaced by Typhoon Haiyan that tore across several islands in eastern Philippines six days ago, killing thousands of people. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

Authorities say 2,357 people have been confirmed dead in the disaster, but that figure is expected to rise, perhaps significantly, when information is collected from other areas of the disaster zone.

In the city's first mass burial, scores of bodies in leaking black bags were lowered into graves without any prayers being said.

John Cajipe, 31, and three teenage boys who work at the local cemetery placed the first body in the grave's right hand corner. Sweat rolled down their faces in the blistering sun as they carried the body.

The second body followed two minutes later, carefully placed alongside the first. And so on, until scores of bodies — all unidentified — filled the grave.

"I hope this is the last time I see something like this," said Mayor Alfred Romualdez. "When I look at this it just reminds me of what has happened from the day the storm hit until today."


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