The eruption was much later than expected. And much more ferocious for it. They expected it several days before and each day's delay heightened their fears. Normally something they could deal with, the inevitable build up of pressure meant this was going to be like no other before. But they were helpless. Little they could do but prepare for the worst.
The rumble was long and loud. They smelt the noxious outpouring before they saw it.... when they did it resembled yellow ochre. Everything around devastated.
Overnight soaking and the hottest wash were called for. But what if an aftershock?