MANILA (UPDATED) - Rescuers on Saturday recovered 10 more bodies in the mining town of Itogon, Benguet, a week after Typhoon Ompong triggered landslides in the mountainous area.
This brings the casualty count in Barangay Ucab alone to 42, according to the Office of Civil Defense in Cordillera. The total number of casualties in Itogon town is now at 67, while 26 remain missing.
Authorities are still hopeful they could find more survivors among those still missing.
Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino said authorities hope the operation would end like what happened in Thailand, where a football team was successfully rescued from a cave after 10 days.
Rescuers intend to enter the tunnel with oxygen tanks to search for possible survivors.
The operation might also be interrupted once Typhoon Paeng enters the Philippine area of responsibility, especially after the Mines and Geosciences Bureau warned that the area is prone to another landslide.
Residents and other members of the media have been prohibited from entering ground zero.
All week long, hundreds have been digging through the debris, looking for friends and relatives buried in the landslide triggered by Typhoon Ompong.
Ompong, the world's strongest typhoon this year, smashed through northern Luzon over the weekend, triggering floods and landslides in different parts of the country.
-- report from Dennis Datu, ABS-CBN News