Roses are red, violets are blue. This volcano is about to blow, so let’s say, “I do!”
As Mount Mayon, in Albay province, Philippines, continued to spew towering plumes of smoke and ash and launching pyroclastic flows down its slopes, Arlo Dela Cruz and Maica Nicerio-Dela Cruz got married just outside the danger zone on Thursday.
Mayon first showed signs of unrest Jan. 13, when the volcano produced a grayish ash plume, about a mile and a half high, that drifted southwest and sent ash down on nearby areas. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology raised its alert level to two the following day and then to three hours later.
Since then, Mayon has put on a dramatic show as authorities evacuated tens of thousands of people and established an almost five-mile danger zone.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Mayon was in peak form on Thursday, shooting an ash plume into the sky nearly 2 miles high.
The lava fountains reached 150 meters to 500 meters high and generated ash plumes that reached 500 meters to 3 kilometers above the crater.
The threat of an eruption did not stop them from tying the knot. In fact, it provided a stunning backdrop to their wedding pictures.
Joan Nebreja, who manages Nebreja Brothers Media, was at the church overseeing her sons as they shot photos and video of the wedding.
“They were a little bit stressed before the wedding because of the situation,” Nebreja said of the couple.
She said the mood at the wedding was mixed because of the uncertainty surrounding the volcano.
“The Mayon Volcano is unpredictable. We don't know when it will blow or not,” Nebreja said.
When asked by The Washington Post, Nebreja said there was no retouching to the photos or video to make the erupting cloud more ominous. Photos taken by wire services on the same day show a massive ash pillar looming over the region.
Nebreja went on to say the volcano is making running her business difficult.
“It affects us a lot, because some of our clients preferred to cancel their events,” she said.