Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Day the Sun Darkened

Thursday April 23, 2015 Glenn and I were making a quick run to A-Price, a local store, to buy some American food ( like a large ranch dressing, some Doritos for a taco salad, a big bag of grated cheddar cheese, and some other miscellaneous groceries).  On our way we noticed a huge volcanic explosion.  We stopped by Dolphin Port, where the local ferries dock, to take some pictures.  It was so intriguing to see the plume of ash move closer and closer towards us.  While by the water we also lingered awhile and took pictures of a group of jelly fish and man-of-wars, and talked to a fisherman sitting on the dock.  We continued taking pictures of the plume as it crept towards us.  It gradually got more and more dark overhead.  At A-Price Glenn sat in the car with the windows down while I shopped.  The ash blocked the sun and darkened the sky as if it were going to storm, then ash started to “rain.”  Glenn quickly rolled up the car windows and I quickly ran from the store to load groceries in the trunk.  I could feel ash in my eyes, even though I had glasses on.  Once in the car we dusted ash granules of our clothes.  From there we drove 30-45 minutes away to a small rural village to find someone’s house who we had been asked by a member to visit.  Pedestrians and bikers were holding newspapers and little towels over their heads, eyes, noses and mouths.  The ash dust whipped up and billowed on the roads.  It was over in two hours, but the road dust lingered a day or so longer.  The volcanic bursts are various sizes, but are pretty constant.  It is in a very active phase.  Yes, we feel a little nervous, but anywhere people live there are potential dangers.  We just try to be observant, use good judgement in our actions, and trust the Lord will guide and help us.  By the way, we never could find the lady’s house, but met four different sets of people while asking for directions.  I fell in love with each set, especially the old farmer and his wife.  Maybe we’ll go back and visit them when we try to find this lady’s house next time.   

Watching the movement of the plume.

Billowing ash on the highway.
Jelly Fish


Monday, April 13, 2015

Living Here is a Blast; or More About the Volcano

It is so interesting living next to a volcano.  Every morning we look out the window to see which way the ash is blowing.  We hope that it is blowing out to sea, but several times a week it blows toward us, leaving a thin (sometimes thick) layer of ash on cars, plants, roads, etc. It’s like tiny gritty bits of glass.  People often wear medical face masks because of it.  I picked up a couple of chunks volcanic rocks, and got a glass sliver in my finger.  Note to self: wear work gloves.

We looked up some facts, and in general, the volcano erupts once every 4 to 24 hours.

In the 1970’s it erupted once a day.

In the 1980’s one or two per day, with volcanic bombs, some damage to cars and houses.

In 1995 there were long pauses, several days between explosions.

2000 to 2005 were 150 to 200 eruptions per year.

2006 to 2010 erupting between one to five day intervals. 

2015 March 16, one plume rose 14,000 ft. above the crater.

2015 March 18, ten eruptions

2015 March 27, 14 eruptions, one plume rose about 13,000 ft., and is in a very active phase.

Any country has challenging environmental things, such as tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanos, etc.  The important thing is to be alert and aware of our surroundings.  Our church has encouraged us to have an emergency preparedness backpack with some money, food, change of clothes, first aid kit that we can grab and run, if necessary.  We are also encouraged to have a good storage supply of water and nonperishable food.  “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”.  (D&C 30:30) This gives us great comfort.  Aren’t we all in the Lord’s hands wherever we are anyway?  We will trust Him.

Here are some of our favorite photos of the volcano: