More sniffing dogs needed in Tacloban retrieval work – official
MANILA, Philippines – The head of the Task Force Cadaver based in Tacloban City called on K9 trainers who can lend their dogs to augment those who are currently helping in the retrieval of fatalities from Supertyphoon Yolanda.
In an interview on Inquirer Radio 990AM, Fire Senior Superintendent Pablito Cordeta of the Bureau of Fire Protection and the commander of the joint retrieval task force, issued the appeal Thursday as the foreign volunteers, whose sniffing dogs are helping in the retrieval operations, are already set to leave on Saturday.
“Baka next week wala nang K9 [units] who are also helping us locate victims who are under debris,” Cordeta said, as he stressed the usefulness of having sniffing dogs in their retrieval tasks.
Foreign volunteers who brought with them their trained dogs are the teams from Holland, South Korea and New York, the same teams that responded in the World Trade Center bombing in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
“These [dogs] are really trained [to locate] victims that are under debris,” Cordeta said.
He said parties who are interested to lend their sniffing dogs may coordinate with them to know more about the specifics of the operations.
Cordeta also said that the Korean volunteers donated rubber boats and other equipment to the BFP. A simple ceremony was held to thank the donors.
Meanwhile, Cordeta said 2038 bodies have so far been recovered by his team in Tacloban City alone since November 15, following the recovery of 34 more cadavers Thursday.
The bodies were mostly found near the shore.
But of the total number, only 245 have been identified by authorities.
Cordeta said water search operations were also ongoing as more bodies were being recovered along the seashore area.
When a body is retrieved, he said it is then transferred to a burial site in Barangay (village) Suhi.
Cordeta said some residents go there to check if their missing loved ones were among those that have been recovered.
For the full interview, listen to the attached audio clip from Inquirer Radio 990AM.
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