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In Hagonoy, floods keep tombs caked in mud, dirt

/ 01:30 AM November 01, 2015

HAGONOY, Bulacan—When the living visit the dead in this town’s public cemetery, they would find mud—lots of it.

Most tombs in this city’s public cemetery are covered in mud after being submerged in flood.

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Using a pair of rain boots, Jose Figueroa, 63, waded through floodwater on Thursday to clean his parents’ and son’s tombs.

The floods were triggered by runoff water discharged from Nueva Ecija province last week when Typhoon “Lando” (international name: Koppu) crossed Luzon, and by the rising sea level. Some of the graves are covered in silt and dried mud.

In Baguio City, five tombs at the public cemetery were cracked open by pine trees which were uprooted by Lando. “We have not completely cleared the cemetery,” said Victor Padua, the city government employee overseeing the cemetery.

Floods in some parts of the Hagonoy cemetery were a foot high, so Figueroa could not finish painting the tombs of his relatives.

Robin Espinosa, 22, a utility worker at the cemetery, said his regular customers have yet to hire him to clean graves.

“Business is bad,” Espinosa said.

He said he expected some of his customers not to come to the cemetery at all.

Floods had prompted Erick Regalado to hire a contractor to elevate the pathways leading to his loved ones’ tombs. “This part of the cemetery is always flooded and it is worse this year,” said Regalado, a village councilor. With a report from Jessica Tabilin, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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