Philippines marks Haiyan anniversary as victims continue to be found

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Manila (dpa) – The Philippines on Sunday marked the anniversary of the strongest typhoon to make landfall as the bodies of the missing continue to be found two years after the devastation, officials said.

Typhoon Haiyan devastated a large part of the central Philippines on November 8, 2013, killing at least 6,300 with 1,061 still missing and feared dead but whose bodies have not been found.

In Tacloban City, the worst hit area, six bodies of suspected victims of Haiyan were found on Saturday by firewood gatherers among a pile of debris in a school, said Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

“Every now and then, we still find bodies in swampy areas,” he said.

“We still feel the pain and the sadness brought about by Typhoon Yolanda,” Romualdez added, referring to Haiyan by its local name.

The bodies, one of which was believed to be a child, were turned over to the city’s Bureau of Fire for identification.

President Benigno Aquino thanked the international community for the help that poured in for the Philippines after Haiyan whipped up storm surges that wiped out entire villages.

Aquino said devastated communities were recovering and now working for a safer and prosperous future.

“This would not have been possible without the world’s embrace of our people and our people’s own heroic generosity and sacrifice,” he said.

“The Filipino people will never forget the kindness that allowed us to overcome this tragedy and are resolved to be there for nations and peoples similarly affected by tragedy,” he added.

The government earlier admitted that there have been delays in efforts to relocate millions of people displaced by Haiyan after their sea-side homes were destroyed.

According to the National Housing Authority, some 205,100 houses were needed to be built to relocate victims of Haiyan away from danger zones. So far, only 17,641 units have been completed by the government.

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