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40 years ago tomorrow Mt. St. Helens erupted –
Where were you when the ash rained down here?

Mt. St. Helens eruption
May 18, 1980
Credit: USGS

“Mount St. Helens’ 1980 Eruption Changed the Future of Volcanology”

“If scientists armed with today’s monitoring tools and knowledge could step back in time to the two months before May 18, 1980, they would have been able to better forecast the forthcoming devastating eruption.

Forty years ago, after two months of earthquakes and small explosions, Mount St. Helens cataclysmically erupted. A high-speed blast leveled millions of trees and ripped soil from bedrock. The eruption fed a towering plume of ash for more than nine hours, and winds carried the ash hundreds of miles away. Lahars (volcanic mudflows) carried large boulders and logs, which destroyed forests, bridges, roads and buildings. These catastrophic events led to 57 deaths, including that of David Johnston, a dedicated USGS scientist, and caused the worst volcanic disaster in the recorded history of the conterminous United States. 

“Had we known then what we know today about volcanoes, could the loss of life and economic damage caused by the Mount St. Helens eruption have been prevented or mitigated?” by the USGS, U.S. Dept. of the Interior. Read more

“Echoes of an Eruption: Former Deputy Shares Dispatch Recording, Experiences of May 18, 1980”

“May 18 is the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens. For the first time, Chehalis area resident Bob Nix, a former deputy with the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, has shared an in-depth account of his memories from that day along with a compelling audio recording of the Cowlitz County radio dispatch in the moments during and after the eruption. That recording is [in the story].” By Eric Trent, The Chronicle, Centralia. Read more

Posted by Steve on May 17, 2020 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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