Interpol forensic experts scheduled to fly to Tacloban

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AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Forensic experts from the International Police (Interpol) are scheduled to fly to Tacloban City to help in identifying the victims of monster typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan).

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima told reporters that she has already met with the Interpol’s Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team which will assist the NBI in the huge task of identifying thousands of cadavers.

“This weekend, they will go to Tacloban to make an initial assessment to be able to make a proposal on how to go about the DVI given the magnitude of the casualties,” De Lima said.

“Of course, Interpol has a lot of experience already not only competence, not only expertise in that area but experience in dealing with this situation on all types of disasters,” she added.

The Interpol team is composed of experts from Canada, United Kingdom, Cameron, Jordan, Bosnia and South Africa.

“That’s the initial team and depending on the exact process, I think more experts from the Interpol will fly to the country,” she said.

De Lima believed that Interpol’s assistance in the DVI operations would be very helpful, citing the same help extended by the international body during the “Princess of the Star” tragedy off Romblon in June 2008.

She also said that the integrity of the whole process of identifying the casualties will be ensured with the help of the foreign forensics experts.

The first batch of NBI experts flew to Tacloban on Tuesday last week. It was composed of 15 to 20 forensic experts. A second batch followed over the weekend.

De Lima said the NBI forensic team is planning to set up apartment-type tombs to be able to identify an initial batch of 700 collected cadavers.

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