At this point over 700 people are reported to be dead as a result of a late season storm that hit off the Filipino island of Mindanao. The tropical storm battered coastal cities of Cagayan de Oro and nearby Iligan turning them into muddy wastelands of overturned cars and broken trees. In just 12 hours, Washi dumped over a month’s worth of average rain on Mindanao. At last report, survivors were still being rescued at sea.
Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross said “People were already asleep, the storm hit pineapple plantations that don’t absorb water, it was high tide and waterways were heavily silted. It’s unprecedented and overwhelming,” and “Our fear is that there may have been whole families that perished so there’s nobody to report what happened.”
Brigadier General Roland Amarille, head of an army task force in Iligan, said on Sunday soldiers had been mobilized to recover bodies and build coffins. “We need body bags and lime to deal with too many cadavers,” Amarille said, fearing an outbreak of disease. “Local mortuaries are no longer accepting cadavers and they are even asking people to bury the dead at once because there are too many bodies even in hallways.”
Because of the sheer number of bodies, mass graves are being recommend in order to combat sickness and disease.