No funeral parlors in New Bataan

NEW BATAAN, Compostela Valley, Philippines - As the numbers of casualties in the town of New Bataan continue to rise, the local government and rescue units realized that there are no functioning funeral parlors in the area.

Aside from the mud and debris in the town, a foul stench outside the town gym where the dead bodies are temporarily laid makes the rescue and relief operations more difficult.

With over 87 dead bodies retrieved in the villages that were swallowed by muddy waters and debris after Typhoon Pablo battered Mindanao, the local government is presently initiating moves to combat their new enemy.

Two rescue workers tried using anti-mosquito aerosol spray but the smell is persistent.

Col. Angelito de Leon, chief of the military’s 1001st Brigade, said the bodies must be immediately brought to funeral parlors outside New Bataan.

“We are hoping that the bodies retrieved will be already identified so that we can transport them to nearby towns with working funeral parlors for proper disposition,” de Leon said.

Col. Leopoldo Galon Jr of the 5th Civil Relations Group of the Eastern Mindanao Command reported that as of 4:50 in the morning of Thursday, December 6, 55 cadavers were already brought to Montevista and Tagum City.

But with the 343 reported missing persons in the town as of Thursday, the rescuers are still expecting the numbers of casualties to rise. -