* Taal Volcano Eruption

Many of you may have noticed in the news that Taal Volcano, about 40 miles south of Antipolo, has erupted.  We have climbed this volcano many times with various visitors who have come to the Philippines, and some have even swum in the crater.   Sunday afternoon we heard that the volcano had erupted, so we took a walk to Second Floor (the hill in our neighborhood that overlooks Manila and the areas to the south and north of the city) to take a look.  

We could smell a burning odor and this was our view in the direction of Taal when we first arrived on the top of the hill.

The ash cloud was spreading, and soon we could feel ash 
falling from the sky onto our skin and hair. 

After a few hours there was an accumulation of ash on everything.  
This is the car windshield.

The result of wiping your hand over the ash.

We shut all the windows of our house that evening to keep out the ash. 
The next morning we could smell the sulfur.  
We went outside to explore and these pictures are the result. 

Footsteps, not in a dusting of snow, but of ash!

Our gate

All of the greenery was covered in a layer of ash and had a grayish tinge.

Rev. Kleyn collected some ash in a spice jar.  
I asked him to label it! Just in case.  ;-)

We haven’t had any rain since the eruption (although the areas close to the volcano have), so the ash is still on the roads and grass and trees.  They say it is dangerous to breathe it.  Instead of sweeping it, we washed down our driveway and some of the area outside with water.  And we are keeping our windows shut for the most part.  

The last time Taal blew was in 1977.  It is actually a volcano sitting in the middle of a lake, which is the crater to a larger volcano.  The whole area has many volcanos, although most have been dormant for a long time.  Taal has always been somewhat active.  Whenever we climbed Taal before, we could see some steam vents and hotspots.  It will be a long time, I think, before we are able to visit Taal again.  

This is an aerial photo of the outer shores of Taal Lake before and after the eruption.
It's of a town that's located directly west of the volcano.  
(Not our photo)
  We have been reminded once again of the coming of the end of time and the glorious return of Jesus Christ.  Luke 21:28 - "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."