21 Dec 2011

Mass burials being held after typhoon

6:35 am on 21 December 2011

Nearly 1000 people are dead and bodies still piling up in the mortuaries after Typhoon Washi hit southern Mindanao island in the Philippines on Saturday.

Philippines President Benigno Aquino has declared a national calamity

The official death toll is 957 and the government is under fire for being ill-prepared for the disaster and its aftermath.

In some areas the authorities have held mass burials, burying many people in large concrete tombs.

In other places, such as in Cagayan de Oro on Mindanao, bodies have been taken to landfill sites.

But the BBC reports many relatives of the dead are opposed to large-scale burials without identifying the dead first.