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Casualties hard to tally

In the chaos of natural disaster, tallying an accurate death toll is often difficult and sometimes not a priority.

The aftermath of the Philippines typhoon has been no different, where initial estimates of the dead were put by some at 10,000. On Tuesday, President Benigno Aquino disputed that, saying it likely to be closer to 2,000 or 2,500. In the meantime, an official tally shows the number at 1,883.

The following factors have been attributed to the confusion in the Philippines: Downed communication line making it impossible to get up to date information; shattered local administrations unable to work to full capacity; villagers burying their dead immediately or bodies being sucked out to sea and not being counted.

Associated Press


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