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Philippine typhoon death toll rises above 5,000, expected to climb higher

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Relatives of Rolando Palermo check cadaver bags containing the remains of typhoon victims along a road in Tacloban city, hoping to find his body Friday Nov. 22, 2013, two weeks after the typhoon struck in central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful typhoons to make a landfall this year, battered central Philippines Nov. 8, leaving a wide swath of destruction. The relatives failed to locate his remains.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)The Associated Press

Philippine officials say the death toll from one of the strongest typhoons on record has risen above 5,000 and is likely to climb further.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said Friday that 4,919 people were killed in the Eastern Visayas region. Civil defense chief Eduardo del Rosario said 290 others died in other parts of the central and southern Philippines.

The regions were battered two weeks ago by fierce winds and tsunami-like storm surges from Typhoon Haiyan, locally called Yolanda.

Roxas said the situation was stabilizing, with major roads on Samar and Leyte islands cleared of debris, and some banks, stores and gasoline stations resuming business.