Nine out of ten bodies have remained unidentified

Nearly nine out of 10 fatalities in the onslaught of Super typhoon “Yolanda” have remained unidentified more than a month after the storm hit the country, according to an official advisory.

The figure was reported by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on its website, but it differed with that obtained by the Inquirer from NDRRMC Executive Director Eduardo del Rosario, who put the number at “only” 33 percent of the total death toll.

In its latest advisory, the NDRRMC said the death toll in the 24th weather disturbance to strike the Philippines in 2013 had climbed to 6,057 as 24 more bodies were recovered late December.

The council said 1,779 persons were still missing while 27,568 were injured in various typhoon-related incidents.

Of the actual retrieved bodies, a total of 5,333—or about 88 percent of the death toll—have yet to be identified, the council’s records showed.

Most of the victims died either by drowning or were hit by flying debris from collapsed structures as the typhoon triggered storm surges as high as 7 meters and powerful winds that levelled large swaths of the Visayas island.

There could be more bodies found and there could be more bodies missing. Those bodies thrown into the ocean by the powerful whirlwind could have been fish food, never to be found.

Updated: 2014-01-05 — 10:02:14