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Published 8 years ago by massani with 3 Comments

Wounded: Mount St. Helens, Washington

Taken by John Westrock on Flickr. You can read more information about the famous eruption in the snap.

  • Taken from the Mount St. Helens National Monument webpage:

    At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted. Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. In a few moments this slab of rock and ice slammed into Spirit Lake, crossed a ridge 1,300 feet high, and roared 14 miles down the Toutle River. The avalanche rapidly released pressurized gases within the volcano. A tremendous lateral explosion ripped through the avalanche and developed into a turbulent, stone-filled wind that swept over ridges and toppled trees. Nearly 150 square miles of forest was blown over or left dead and standing.

    At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind, turning day into night as dark, gray ash fell over eastern Washington and beyond. Wet, cement-like slurries of rock and mud scoured all sides of the volcano. Searing flows of pumice poured from the crater. The eruption lasted 9 hours, but Mount St. Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments.

    A vast, gray landscape lay where once the forested slopes of Mount St. Helens grew.

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  • Petrox

    Literally breathtaking

    • massani

      It's ridiculous to think that in minutes, all those forests were just wiped out. My mom was living in Oak Harbor, Washington that morning and they feel it really well there as well. The windows shook and you could hear the blast. I can't imagine how loud it would have been if you were even 20 miles away.

      • geogrammer

        My parents were living in Portland at the time and the whole city got covered in ash. They still have some of it saved in a jar!

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