Today is the anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State. On the morning of May 18, 1980. The first pic. from Wikipedia is the mountain before the eruption. The next image (from Rocky Kolberg) shows the eruption from 35 miles away! The third picture shows what the inside of the volcano looks like today (from Steve Schilling and USGS), cold – quiet – observing one of nature’s long stoplights before the inevitable next eruption.
At 8:32 am on May 18th, an eruption measuring 5.1 on the Richter Scale caused the north side of the mountain to collapse. There were 57 fatalities that day, 250 homes were destroyed, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railway, 185 miles of road. Before the eruption, the mountain was 9,677 feet high – after the eruption it was 8,363 feet high. 230 square miles was devastated and 1.5 million metric tons of sulphur dioxide was released into the air. Trees up to 19 miles away were toppled. 46 billion gallons of snow and ice were melted. Mudslides came down the mountain at 90 mph. Three days later, the ash cloud was seen passing over West Michigan. I calculated that it reduced the high temperature that day here in G.R. by 3 degrees F. It took 19 days for the ash cloud to circle the world. Here’s some interesting facts about Mt. St. Helens. Movie about the eruption. Minute-by-minute view of the eruption.