Mass burials begin as Philippines death toll rises to 927

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The Independent Online

With funeral parlours overwhelmed, authorities in a flood-stricken southern Philippine city yesterday organised the first mass burial of people who were swept to their deaths in one of worst calamities to strike the region in decades.

The official death toll from Friday night's disaster, spawned by a tropical storm, rose to 927. Official figures put the number of those missing at 82, while the Philippine Red Cross estimated 800.

In the southern city of Iligan, the mayor Lawrence Cruz said the city's half dozen funeral parlours were full to capacity and no longer accepting bodies. The first 50 or so unclaimed bodies were buried in individual tombs at the city cemetery, he said.