Photo Post – Basper Mass Grave in Tacloban
Many mass graves were dug in and around the Tacloban area in order to deal with the thousands of victims of super typhoon Yolanda on November 8, 2013. These particular mass graves were dug inside a public cemetery at Basper about 12 kilometers north of Tacloban City itself. I did not know what to expect when I visited this place, but I admit I was surprised at the haphazard way in which the bodies seemed to have been simply tossed into the hole and then left there exposed to the sun and the rain. Many body bags had split open and body parts were mingled together. And no dirt or other material was placed on top of the body bags. I can’t say how many days (or weeks) these particular bodies had been lying here in this manner, but it was clearly for a long time. The local children had even become quite accustomed to the sight and played around the open graves without concern. Thee pictures were taken on December 14, 2013. I returned to this site in January just before I left Tacloban, and the graves had been filled in.