Philippines eyes turning volcano villages to `no man's land'

LEGAZPI, Philippines -- The Philippine defense chief has recommended that villages in a danger zone around Mount Mayon be turned into a no man’s land.

The move would be to avoid evacuating thousands each time the extremely active volcano explodes. President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed support of the idea.

Mayon has been spewing lava, ash and molten rocks into the sky in recent weeks.

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More than 80,000 villagers have fled to schools turned into shelters. Albay officials declared the province of more than 1.3 million people under a state of calamity two weeks ago.

"There is actually a permanent danger zone. Why don't we declare that as a no man's land so that no people will go there anymore because each time Mayon's eruption ends residents go back until the next explosion comes," defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana said.

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"We will have always this problem of evacuation." "The first thing that we have to find out is what would be the solution for people who are there tilling the land which they own and is titled in their name," Duterte said.

The Philippines has 22 active volcanoes.

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