MANILA, Philippines, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- The death toll from landslides and floods caused by a pair of Philippines typhoons is expected to rise as volunteers pick through debris, officials say.
The successive typhoons Ketsana and Parma, have officially claimed more than 600 lives in the Philippines, but searchers examining debris with picks, shovels and their bare hands will likely unearth more victims, The New York Times reported Monday.
The death toll from Ketsana, which struck late last month in Manila and nearby provinces, has been set at 337, while Parma, which hit on Oct. 3, killed 193 people and caused more than $100 million in damage to crops and property, the newspaper said.
"Much of the rescue work is done manually," Santos Nero, deputy secretary general of the nonprofit relief group Cordillera Peoples Alliance told the Times, adding that Benguet province was affected severely due to erosion caused by heavy mining activity there.
"Our worry now is that the next storm could unleash so much rain that it might break the tailings dams of these mining companies," Nero said. "That would be the worst disaster."