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This is What it’s Like to Have a Volcano as a Neighbour

Remember that scene in Shaun of the Dead, when Simon Pegg was wandering around the streets, oblivious to the zombie apocalypse around him?

Well, that’s kinda how I was yesterday, when a volcano erupted just a few kilometres from my house.

In the early hours of Monday morning, Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano spontaneously decided to make a bit of noise. And by that, I mean it vomited a heap of lava and ash. You may have seen this video circulating:

Yeah, that’s lava. Just to make it clear how close I am to this, I can see ole Popo from my house here in Puebla.

However, when I dragged myself out of bed yesterday, I wasn’t exactly paying attention to the massive mountain of doom outside the city. I did, however, notice a lot of fog – fog that smelled and tasted strangely like ash. Oh yeah, and there were piles of ash everywhere.

Then I noticed the pavement had somehow turned white (it’s usually pitch black). Yeah, those sidewalks in these photos aren’t supposed to be that colour.

IMG_0711

Here’s a clean (black) patch of road next to a strip of uncleaned sidewalk covered in ash.

Then I noticed cars parked on the street were covered in ash too.

In fact, everything was covered in ash. The only way I can really describe this is to say it’s like the entire city has dandruff, and has just totally given up on shampoo.

It’s now day two of dandruff city, and the ash shows no signs of leaving Puebla alone. Tuesday’s eruption saw a column of ash hurled three kilometres into the sky, so I guess it’s no surprise it’s taking a while to settle. Then there’s the wind. It seemed like half the city armed themselves with brooms yesterday, hoping to sweep away the stuff.

Then mid afternoon, the wind came in and just made a new mess. Initially, I thought the rain might help, but apparently it’s even worse.

One of my neighbours was tending to his plants this morning, and bitterly remarked, “the water makes this stuff like concrete.”

He was right, the rain seemed to turn the ash into a thick sludge. It was indeed like wet concrete. We’re in for more rain tonight, so I guess we can expect more sludge.

1 Comment on This is What it’s Like to Have a Volcano as a Neighbour

  1. Wow. Crazy photos. Thanks for sharing! My husband and I visited Puebla a week before the eruption. I recognize a few of the streets from your photos.

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