A volcanic eruption wasn’t about to ruin a couple’s wedding day despite smoke filling the sky.
The Taal volcano erupted on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, not far from the capital Manila on Tuesday, spewing lava into the sky and trembling constantly.
It spurted fountains of red-hot lava 800 metres into the sky.
Despite being just 16km away from the volcano, Chino Vaflor and Kat Bautista Palomar told CNN they decided to go ahead with their wedding at Alfonso on Sunday.
The volcano had already begun spewing smoke.
Wedding photographer Randolf Evan told the news station everyone was aware of the threat the volcano posed and they stayed regularly updated.
"We also discussed discreetly among ourselves what we should do when worst comes to worst,” he told CNN.
Despite concerns, the couple still tied the knot.
"The mood was surprisingly calm despite the large billows of smoke that were already prominently visible in the ceremony area," Mr Evan said.
A photo posted on Facebook by the venue, Savanna Farm Tagaytay by Solange, shows the couple about to be wed as smoke plumes fill the sky.
“The wedding continues,” it wrote.
People called the photo an example of a “beautiful disaster”.
“Mother Nature is so beautiful even in destruction,” one man wrote.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said more than 350 volcanic earthquakes have been recorded near Taal since Sunday.
More than 38,000 people have been relocated so far to over 200 evacuation centres, Mr Dujarric said.
On Sunday, the eruption also closed Manila’s airport due to the ash. It was also closed for a bit on Monday.
More than 500 international and domestic flights were canceled or delayed due to the overnight airport closure, affecting about 80,000 passengers, airport manager Ed Monreal told The Associated Press.
“Hopefully the wind direction does not change. As long as the ash fall does not reach us, then we can be back to normalcy,” Mr Monreal said.
The disaster-response agency counted more than 40,000 evacuees in Batangas and nearby Cavite provinces who took shelter in nearly 200 evacuation centres. Officials expected the number to swell.
The Philippine institute’s head Renato Solidum said it “is not an activity that will just be a short while”.
“The speed in the rise of magma is important (in determining) when the volcano will have a strong eruption and if it will slow down and freeze,”he said.
“As of now, we don’t see activities slowing down and the earthquakes still continue.”
With The Associated Press and Reuters
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