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Philippine landslide: Mass grave for unidentified

The bodies of 29 unidentified victims of Philippine landslide are to be buried in a mass grave on Sunday

india Updated: Feb 19, 2006 09:27 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

The bodies of 29 unidentified victims of the Philippine landslide disaster are to be buried in a mass grave on Sunday, a health department official said.

Cornelio Solis told a news agency he had set a noon deadline for identification.

Otherwise the bodies would be buried together in the town of St Bernard, near the devastated village of Guinsaugon.

On Sunday morning, the bodies were laid out on the floor of the local community hall, many of them bloated and still covered in mud after being recovered on Friday.

They are among the 64 people now confirmed dead after a mountainside gave way and buried the farming village in the south of Leyte island.

At least 1,400 others are missing and feared buried under the mud.

Many of the bodies have started to decompose and health authorities spray them with disinfectant from time to time.

Some are laid out in white coffins, others are in crude plywood coffins or black body bags.

Solis said the town had run out of white coffins "so this is the best we can do".

He said the bodies have been photographed and numbered in case relatives turn up later to claim them.

"We can then dig the body up allowing the relative to take it away for a proper burial."

First Published: Feb 19, 2006 09:27 IST