There are times in the world when you know you're screwed.
I remember a story of a couple in a car racing away from the Mt. St. Helen's eruption. They barely made it to safety ahead of the pyroclastic flow. The driver said he passed a car while he was going over 100 mph. The other car didn't make it out.
I think I've written before about my most viewed episode of Nova about the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. The giggle we all let out when volcano is going off, and the scientists are racing for the car. One of them (the passenger) runs around and yells, "Open the door... open the fucking door!"
Then there's the mountain climbers in Japan who hid in a temple while a volcano turned the land around them into an ash covered wasteland.
Then there are two just from this weekend.
The first is a guy who must have felt he was screwed, but apparently made it out okay. He captured the initial eruption of Mt. Calbuco.
Adn then there's the climbers at the Mt. Everest base camp. I'm sure they must have felt something from the Nepal earthquake. But I don't see how they could have had any idea what was coming.
Once again, one of the simple, but powerful, bit of wisdom from Will Durant comes to mind:
"Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice."