I read today that the Taal volcano in the Philippines has started spewing ash. The authorities evacuated 8,000 people fearing an eruption. There are also fears of a tsunami because the volcano is in the middle of a lake. I visited Taal a few years ago when I lived in the Philippines. It’s not far from Manila – about a ninety minute drive – and the area is popular with visitors from the capital. Getting to the volcano requires a trip on a boat across the lake, then a walk or a horse ride to the rim, where there are views into the crater. A lake has formed in the crater since the last eruption which explains the huge cloud of steam hanging in the sky from this most recent activity. Here are a few of pictures I took at the time. The first is of our boat trip across the lake to get to the volcano. It was a small boat, the water was choppy, the wind was blowing and we got very, very wet, but we dried off quickly. In the second you can see Binintiang Malaki, formed after a previous eruption, and often mistaken for Taal. The third is taken from the rim looking in to the crater. Sadly, all of this is now gone following the eruption with the lake evaporated, the greenery blown away and the island coated in volcanic ash.