Ash spewed by a Philippine volcano is being mixed with plastic waste to make bricks in an inventive response to the country's persistent problems of pollution and frequent natural disasters.
About 6,000 families that had lived on the slopes of the volcano for decades will not be able to return home after the government declared the small island "uninhabitable". Philippine officials said Sunday the government will no longer allow villa.
This came after evacuations took place in towns of San Nicolas, Balete and Talisa in the province of Batangas, which have a combined population of more than 90,000 people.
The DILG chief explained the measure is strictly being undertaken for the welfare of the public, saying "We don't know when that (Taal Volcano) will erupt".
As of today, the eruption affected 16 municipalities and cities with a total population of 393,863.
However, seismologists have warned the volcano could imminently unleash a much bigger blast, putting at risk the lives of anyone in the 14-kilometre (nine-mile) radius "danger zone" that surrounds it.
The Taal Volcano, south of the Philippine capital Manila, rumbled and roared to life on January 12 as it spewed superheated ash high into the sky, in a spectacular show of nature's fury. The new residential location must be at least 17 kilometers (10 miles) away from the remaining volcano, he said.
The island was long ago designated a national park that's off-limits to permanent villages. "The sad part is, we may never be allowed back here after this". It's like a gun is aimed at you, "Renato Solidum, director of the Volcanology Institute, told The Associated Press".
"People might think nothing is happening, but there is movement underneath", he said.
"If the magma reaches the crater, it could cause a strong explosion".
Taal killed more than 200 people in a powerful outbreak in 1965 and then exploded again in 1977.
Such activities can cause fissures and cracks earlier discovered on the volcano island as well in areas near the Pansipit River to widen, said Solidum.
Amen cried quietly on Sunday when he attended the fair in an evacuation center in Tagaytay, Cavite province.
A senator from Batangas, Ralph Recto, recommended the establishment of a committee to oversee the recovery of the region destroyed by the volcano. It will resemble a government agency that was established north of Manila after Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991.