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Manila (AFP) – The number of people confirmed killed when a super typhoon devastated the Philippines surpassed 5,200 on Friday, the government said, making it one of the country’s deadliest natural disasters.

The official death toll from the storm jumped by nearly 1,200 to 5,209, with another 1,611 people still missing, the spokesman for the government’s disaster management council, Reynaldo Balido, told AFP.

Super Typhoon Haiyan flattened dozens of towns across the central Philippines on November 8, bringing some of the strongest winds ever recorded and generating tsunami-like storm surges.

Balido said the death toll rose sharply on Friday, increasing from 4,015, after officials reported body counts from communities outside the worst-hit areas.

“If you notice, there was not much movement in the death toll for the past few days. This was because the reporting rules required a casualty report signed by the city mayor and his health officer,” he said. “Now, the reports are coming in from the entire typhoon area.”

The Philippines endures a seemingly never-ending pattern of deadly typhoons, earthquakes, volcano eruptions and other natural disasters.

It is located along a typhoon belt and the so-called Ring of Fire, a vast Pacific Ocean region where many of Earth’s earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

But Haiyan now stands as one of the deadliest natural disasters ever recorded in the country, and the worst typhoon.

The only other natural disaster to rival Haiyan was a tsunami triggered by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake in 1976 that killed between 5,000 and 8,000 people on the southern island of Mindanao.

More than four million people were displaced, mainly on the poor, farming islands of Samar and Leyte.

The disaster has triggered a giant, international relief effort, with dozens of countries and relief organisations rushing to deliver food, water and health services to isolated communities.

The US military has performed the highest-profile role, while Japan has sent more than 1,000 troops in its biggest deployment since World War II.

China, which is embroiled in a long-running territorial dispute, has also sent a 300-bed hospital ship and relief supplies.

Donald Trump Jr.

Screenshot from Twitter

You've probably heard about Donald Trump's claim that his Democratic rival got "a big fat se onhot in the ass" before delivering a nearly perfect performance on a recently televised town hall. Or his more recent demand that Joe Biden get a "drug test" before their debate on Tuesday night. Having spent months lowering expectations for Biden, the Trumps are now busily defaming him as a junkie.

But that particular slur backfired spectacularly over the weekend when the Trump campaign posted a bizarre video of Don Jr. -- seemingly in a condition that called for rehab services. As his father might put it, "many people are saying" that the presidential spud looked and sounded like someone abusing a controlled substance. (His slurred message was disturbed too, something about an "army of able-bodied men and women" to intimidate voters).

It's both funny and sad to watch Don Jr. decompensate on Twitter. (More funny, though.)

Click and judge his condition for yourself.