Philippine forensic workers begin identifying typhoon victims

by Reuters

The heartbreaking task of identifying the victims of Typhoon Haiyan begins.

More than 100 body bags line this city hall in Tacloban in the central Philippines, which bore the brunt of Friday's super typhoon.

These forensic investigators say they need fingerprints, dental records and DNA.

"We will try our best to maximize the DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) but we know that the task could be overwhelming because of the sheer number. And we are running out of time," said Emanuel Aranas, deputy director for operations at Philippine National Police Crime Lab. 

Decomposing flesh may make fingerprint identification more difficult and many dental records have been lost in the devastation.

All the bodies that have not been identified will be buried in mass graves.

The Philippines has been overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster and 10,000 are estimated to have died in Tacloban alone.