NOVA FRIBURGO, Brazil (Reuters) - Rains that devastated a mountainous region north of Rio de Janeiro have killed at least 611 people, Brazils Civil Defence agency said on Sunday, as forecasts of more storms and fears of disease outbreaks overshadowed rescue operations. Nearly five days after rains sparked floods and massive landslides in one of Brazils worst natural disasters, the death toll continues to rise steadily as rescuers dig up corpses buried by rivers of mud and reach more remote areas. TV images showed rescue workers looking for people under mounds of debris, a task made difficult by more rain on Saturday and forecast of more downpours on Sunday. Meanwhile, disaster officials said on Sunday that the death toll from more than two weeks of heavy rains in the central and southern Philippines has risen to 51, as authorities stepped up their search for another 16 people missing at sea. Agriculture and infrastructure damage now exceeds 1.6 billion pesos ($36 million) after floodwaters inundated rural communities in about a third of the countrys 80 provinces, said Benito Ramos, head of the governments disaster agency. Major rice and corn production areas in the north and western parts of the country have been spared from the damaging impact of the persistent rains that began in late December. Meanwhile, Australian floods wreaked fresh havoc on rural communities in the south on Sunday. , leaving a trail of destruction across four states, at least 17 dead and the prospect of reconstruction of historic proportions. As tens of thousands of people in flood-stricken towns and cities in the north worked to clean out their homes and offices, heavy rains and floods meted out fresh disaster in southern Victoria state, the nations second most populous. Four major rivers in Victoria were in full flood, with 43 towns, 3,500 people and 1,400 properties affected. Hundreds of people have evacuated their homes, though no one has been killed so far in that state. They had the army in town. They were sandbagging on the west side. It was flowing fairly quickly, Paula Ryan, 40, who runs a mobile coffee van, told Reuters by telephone from Echuca on Sunday as it prepared to be swamped by the Campaspe River. The floods began in the northern mining state of Queensland last month and have caused billions of dollars in damage from broken infrastructure, lost commodity exports and the paralysis of the state capital, Brisbane, a city of two million.