Mount St Helens Facts – The Deadliest Eruption

Merely five years ago, a volcanic eruption has been recorded. This took place in Washington as Mount St. Helens started spewing ashes, hot gases and rocks into the air. All of these suddenly caused the flowing of muds and these all directed towards the sides of the mountain. The said eruption will always be an important part of most mount st Helens facts stated.

An eruption also happened May 18, 1980. This occurred at exactly 8:32 a.m. This is recorded as the deadliest, and even the most destructive phenomenon in the history of volcanic eruptions in the United States. This was according to the record of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

During the said eruption, almost 57 individuals died. Based on the autopsies conducted, the mentioned people who did not make it were the ones who suffered from asphyxiation. This happened as they inhaled hot ash. This was stated by the USGS. On those people, photojournalists, volcanologists were both included as victims. The same was also true with a lodge owner who did not leave the vicinity of the mountain.

Prior to the eruption, warnings were made to inform people about the danger of the situation. Signs were manifested by the volcano. The initial sign was on March 20, 1980. This happened as an earthquake took place. This was with a magnitude of 4.2. Because of this, an avalanche of snow was also witnessed on the parts of the volcanoes. This was reported by the U.S Geological Survey. This was also in between May 18 where 2,800 earthquakes were recorded at the given volcano. A bulge also started to be visible. This was on the left side of the volcano. This was again reported by the PBS.

Another earthquake rattled the mountain too. This was with a magnitude of 5.1. This caused the bursting of the bulge and even the landslide mountain. When the bulge was no longer in the scene, the magma system of the volcano blew off and depressurized the mountain top. This was in accordance to USGS. The blast was then reduced to the height of the mountain and it measured 1,314 feet.

The Aftermath

After the eruption, the state of Washington then started the removal of ashes from most of their highways and roads. As a matter of fact, they were able to get at least 900,000 tons of these ashes. It was the International Trade Commission that took charge in the determination of the whole cost. This was directed towards the rebuilding and the damage of efforts because of the eruption. There was an estimation that it reached $1.1 billion.

Apart from the aforementioned, a 230 square mile was also destroyed. This was the land surrounding the volcano. Highways of around 158 miles were also wrecked. Almost 200 homes were also pulverized. These were all recorded in figure by USGS. Even animals were also lost. To put it into figure, around 7,000 animals also died. Among these are bears, elk and deer. The same is also true with beetles and spiders.