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Gov't appeals for patience in identifying typhoon victims

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine government asked the public for patience on Sunday saying it takes time for authorities to identify the bodies placed in mass graves in the Visayas region in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda. Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. made the statement amid reported complaints by residents in Tacloban City in central province of Leyte, one of the worst hit areas, that some 1,000 bodies are rotting in the city alone and may pose a health hazard.

"It might take some time (to identify the cadavers) because of the huge number of those who perished," he said over a state-run radio station.

He said that the primary interest of the government is to ensure the health and safety of the public.

Coloma explained that the Aquino government has a system in place to process and identify the remains of those who were killed from the typhoon, citing that the health and interior departments and the local government are implementing this system.

Latest death toll from Yolanda, which struck the country on Nov. 8, rose to 6,155 while those who remain missing climbed to 1,785.

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