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'Yolanda' death toll climbs to 6,166

Typhoon survivors light candles for their still-missing relatives at a mass grave in the outskirts of Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines,Tuesday Dec. 31, 2013. Hundreds more of still unidentified typhoon victims lay unburied Tuesday close to two months following the super typhoon Haiyan which ravaged the city and other provinces in central Philippines. AP

MANILA, Philippines - The death toll from Super Typhoon "Yolanda" climbed to 6,166 after the counting hit lull in the previous days, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

The agency said in its Friday situational report that 28,626 people were also injured and 1,785 were still missing after the monster typhoon slammed into the Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013.

More than 16 million people were affected in nine regions including over four million who were displaced from their homes.

On Thursday, Malacañang said the government is trying to speed up the burial of some 1,400 fatalities of the disaster.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Sonny Coloma said the Departments of Health (DOH) and Public Works and Highways (DPWH) sent more equipment while the National Bureau of Investigation redeployed its forensic team on the ground.

Quoting a report from rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson, he said the DOH has sent 1,500 body bags and protective kits for personnel handling the remains while the DPWH sent additional backhoes and payloaders.

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"Ginagawa na po ito sa pamamagitan ng puspusang pagtutulungan ng DOH, NBI, DPWH at kanilang pakikipag-ugnayan sa Tacloban City government," Coloma said.

He added that the agencies are considering other suggestions to speed up the burial, including modifying the procedure used by the NBI to identify the remains.

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