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More 'Yolanda' bodies found
Publication Date : 23-04-2014
Five months after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) leveled large swathes of the Eastern Visayas in the Philippines, victims' remains continue to turn up.
Seven bodies were recovered in Tacloban City over the weekend as government workers scoured the area for victims of one of the most destructive typhoons to hit the country, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Tuesday. The NDRRMC said the death toll from Yolanda now stood at exactly 6,300, most of them still unidentified, while the typhoon left almost 89.6 billion pesos (more than US$2 billion) worth of property and infrastructure damage. It said 1,061 persons remain missing and a total of 28,689 were injured in different typhoon-related incidents. The typhoon, which made landfall six times before leaving the Philippine area of responsibility, affected some 3.4 million families composed of 16 million individuals in nine regions. The NDRRMC said Yolanda, which triggered storm surges several metres high, displaced four million individuals as it knocked down one million houses. The agriculture sector bore the brunt of the typhoon’s wrath, with 21.8 billion pesos ($490 million) worth of agricultural crops destroyed. The unimaginable destruction wrought by Yolanda prompted President Aquino to create the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery headed by a former senator, Panfilo Lacson. The government has admitted that much still needs to be done to ensure the recovery of the typhoon-ravaged communities, focusing first on the construction of temporary shelters for displaced residents. The Aquino administration has earmarked billions of pesos to fund various rehabilitation projects. Two weeks ago, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas led a whirlwind inspection of typhoon-stricken areas in Leyte and Capiz provinces, distributing more than P1 billion in financial aid to local government units. Roxas also disclosed that the government has set aside about 4-billion-peso to fund various projects in all towns and cities, not just the victims of Yolanda, under the Aquino administration’s Grassroots Participatory Budget Process. Meanwhile, Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman is not ruling out the possibility that some women victims of the supertyphoon may have resorted to prostitution in the evacuation centers in Samar and Leyte for their daily subsistence though she said there is as yet no evidence to prove this. Speaking at a press conference Wednesday, Soliman said a team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was still gathering data on the media reports of prostitution in the evacuation centers in those provinces as well as in Zamboanga City. Soliman said the DSWD had no evidence yet as far as the evacuation centers in Leyte and Samar are concerned.