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Philippines Eyes Turning Volcano Villages to 'No Man's Land'

The Philippine defense chief has recommended that villages in a danger zone around erupting Mount Mayon be turned into a permanent "no man's land" to avoid evacuating thousands of residents each time the country's most active volcano explodes. President Rodrigo Duterte expressed support for the recommendation of his defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, during a meeting Monday with officials dealing with the two-week eruption of Mayon. But he said the government may have to expropriate land from private owners and added that such a move could spark "a social problem again." Mayon has been belching red-hot lava fountains, huge columns of ash and molten rocks into the sky and plunging communities into darkness with falling ash in northeastern Albay province, about 340 kilometers (210 miles) southeast of Manila. More than 80,000 villagers have fled to dozens of schools turned into emergency shelters, where a lack of toilets and other problems with...

 

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