We got pretty close to the eruption about 10km away from crater. Seeing these huge columns blast kilometers into the air was just unbelievable. The size of this thing can not be portrait by a image. You have to see it by your self. One feels where little in comparison with forces of this size.
Every night before dark (around 10pm now) the area is evacuated because of flood risk. At night one can not see if there is a flood coming your way. We however got a special permission to stay inside the safety zone. This is the time when the forces of the eruption really become evident. We saw lava fountains probably 500-700m high through the ash cloud. This lava fountain and ash cloud was followed by severe lightning activity.
The brightness seen in the volcano is not erupting lava but extremely powerfull lightning strike that was created by the ash cloud.
Note:: Due to extremely high view and comment rates now, it might take me a while to answer questions and inquiries.
For publishing rights please contact me at email@example.com or gsm: 354-6953536