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.Know More
In the immediate area, immeasurable damage was caused to the forest area from falling ash, lahars, flooding and mudslides. In the direct blast zone closest to the eruption site, everything within an eight-mile radius was completely obliterated. Aside from the destruction of buildings, cars and forestry, thousands of animals were killed.
When Mount St. Helens erupted, the ash column rose 12 miles high. The ash settled over Washington, Oregon and Idaho, and it even reached Colorado, Minnesota and Oklahoma. The settlement of ash caused the destruction of acres of crops, and thousands of dollars were spent on clean-up efforts. In all, the eruption of Mount St. Helens cost over one billion dollars in damage.
The eruption of Mount St. Helens also had many secondary effects. For example, local tourism was affected by the eruption, and unemployment increased significantly in the area surrounding Mount St. Helens.Learn more about Volcanoes
While it is not yet possible to predict volcanic eruptions decades in advance, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory continually monitors Mount St. Helens to gather data for more accurate short-term predictive models. According to “Future Eruptions at Mount St. Helens,” this volcano is the most likely to erupt in the Cascade Mountains of Washington again in the coming decades.Full Answer >
Mount St. Helens has erupted numerous times in its 300,000-year history, most notably on May 18, 1980. While much of its early history remains a mystery, geologic studies have concluded that Mount St. Helens is the most active volcano in the Pacific Northwest.Full Answer >
The most recent volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State, which began in October, 2004, produced hot, but solid, extrusions of smooth-sided lava called "spines." The extrusion of the solid lava spines continued until January 2008, producing more than 120 million cubic yards of solidified lava. Unlike the previous and catastrophic eruption, which occurred in 1980 and produced thick lava flows, the eruptions occurring between 2004 and 2008 produced only solid lava extrusions and resulted in no loss of life or property.Full Answer >
Mount St. Helens, an active stratovolcano, has an elevation of 8,363 feet. It is located in Skamania County, Wash., in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.Full Answer >