Q:

How many people died when Mount Saint Helens erupted?

A:

Quick Answer

As a result of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, 57 people died. Earthquakes started on March 15, gradually building into small eruptions and then culminating in the massive eruption of May 18.

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Full Answer

Responding to an accumulation of danger signs and warnings from the United States Geological Survey, Governor Dixy Lee Ray of Washington State declared a state of emergency around the mountain on April 3 and then later banned all unapproved visitors from entering the large red zone created around the volcano under penalty of fine or imprisonment. Despite these preventive measures, when the volcano erupted on May 18, the enormous avalanche and pyroclastic flow caught 57 people unaware. Most were asphyxiated in the flow, while a few were crushed under tons of volcanic debris.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How did Mount St. Helens form?

    A:

    Mount St. Helens is a cinder cone volcano that formed through the gradual accumulation of cinders and ash at the base of the mountain. Unlike a shield volcano, such as Mauna Loa in Hawaii, cinder cones can rise sharply from the surrounding terrain and maintain a steep, angular profile throughout their existence.

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  • Q:

    What effect did Mount St. Helens have?

    A:

    The eruption of Mount St. Helens at 8:32 on May 18, 1980 was a major geological event that continues to have many effects on the 150 square miles surrounding the volcano. This eruption is classified as the worst volcanic disaster in United States history. In this explosion, the mountain lost its conical tip and 1,300 feet in elevation. Fifty-seven people and hundreds of animals lost their lives.

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  • Q:

    Where is Mount St. Helens located?

    A:

    Mount St. Helens is located in Washington state at 46.2? N, 122.2? W. It is an active volcano that has been a tourist spot for years.

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  • Q:

    What damage did Mount St. Helens cause?

    A:

    The eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, caused the destruction of 27 bridges, over 200 homes and 4.7 billion boards of timber. In addition, 15 miles of railway and 185 miles of highway were damaged or destroyed. Fifty-seven people also lost their lives during the eruption, and another four deaths occurred as an indirect result of the eruption.

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