Mount St. Helens: Remembering the deadliest U.S. volcanic event 37 years later


Thirty-seven years ago, Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington, spewing ash, rock, and hot gasses into the air and causing mud to flow down the mountainsides.

The eruption took place on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m. PDT and was “the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 


The video below, shared by NOAA, is courtesy of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere. Scientists used “geostationary and polar-orbiting” imagery to track the volcanic ash after the eruption.


The eruption killed 57 people and caused more than a billion dollars in damage. Ash blanketed the Pacific Northwest and stretched into 11 states and Canada. Fatalities included photojournalist Reid Blackburn, a USGS volcanologists named David Johnston and Harry Truman, a lodge owner in his 80s who rose to fame after he refused to leave the mountain in the weeks preceding the eruption.

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