An ash plume billows from the crater atop Mount St. Helens hours after its eruption began on May 18th, 1980, in Washington state. The column of ash and gas reached 15 miles into the atmosphere, depositing ash across a dozen states. Source: The Atlantic
The Deadliest Volcanic Eruption In United States History, Just 35 Years Ago This Week
A wrecked logging truck and crawler tractor are shown amidst ash and downed trees near Mount St. Helens two days after an explosive eruption. Source: The Atlantic
While you’ve surely heard of the eruption of Washington’s Mount St. Helen’s, which occurred 35 years ago this week, what you may not realize was that it was an earthquake that triggered the eruption and a landslide (the largest in recorded history) plus mudslides and floods as well as further eruptions over the following days. The resulting jumble of numbers is staggering: the volcanic blast shot 80,000 feet in the air, lopping 1,300 feet off the top of the mountain, spreading ash across 11 states and 5 Canadian provinces, sparking mudslides that ran for 50 miles, ultimately causing over $1 billion in damage. Experience the devastation at The Atlantic.
Fifteen-year-old Heidi Havens gives Allen Troup, 16, a kiss as he prepares to board a Spokane City bus, on May 27, 1980. Spokane residents had to wear face masks while outside for days after the eruption because of possible health threats from volcanic ash sprayed over the area by Mount St. Helens on May 18. Source: The Atlantic