Rescue teams are losing hope Wednesday of finding any survivors in the landslides triggered by Monday's powerful earthquake in the Philippines.
"I am still hoping against hope, but the chances [of recovering survivors] are very slim. If you see the landslide, it's huge and there is no chance of them surviving," said Benito Ramos, head of the Office of Civil Defense.
So far rescue workers have recovered 26 bodies, but 71 people are still missing.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III flew to the disaster area Monday and ordered workers to speed up the rebuilding of roads and bridges that collapsed.
"We could see how severe nature's wrath was," Aquino said. "The aftershocks are enlarging the cracks of the roads."
The bridges in particular were not built to sustain the 6.9 quake. Seismologists said they were not aware of the undersea fault line that caused the temblor.