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Decades after catastrophic 1980 eruption, Mount St. Helens is 'recharging'
Some features of this site are not compatible with your browser. Install Opera Mini to better experience this site. The eruption of Mt. But as the first eruption in the continental United States during the era of modern scientific observation, it was uniquely significant. In the decades since the eruption, Mt.
The eruption killed 57 people, in the lateral blast, ashfall , and lahars. The causes to death included asphyxiation, thermal injuries, and trauma. Four indirect death were caused by a cropduster hitting powerlines during the ashfall, a traffic accident during poor visibilty, and two heart attacks from shoveling ash. The Cost of Volcanic Eruptions details the economic impacts of the eruption. The Toutle River was flooded by melting snow and ice from the mountain. About 12 million board feet of stockpiled lumber were sweep in the river.
Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, , after two months of increasing volcanic activity. Since its most recent eruption in , there has been a swarm of earthquakes, which are thought to be a result of the magmatic system's "recharging," according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. Similar seismic swarms were detected during recharging periods before a small eruption in and through a period of volcanic activity that ended in In March through May of this year, swarms of deep earthquakes, not even felt on the surface, have been detected. Seismic swarms do not directly indicate that an eruption is imminent, because volcanic forecasting is difficult, according to the U.
On May 18, , a major volcanic eruption occurred at Mount St. Helens , a volcano located in Skamania County , in the U. The eruption a VEI 5 event was the most significant volcanic eruption to occur in the contiguous 48 U. The eruption was preceded by a two-month series of earthquakes and steam -venting episodes, caused by an injection of magma at shallow depth below the volcano that created a large bulge and a fracture system on the mountain's north slope. This allowed the partly molten, high-pressure gas- and steam -rich rock in the volcano to suddenly explode northwards toward Spirit Lake in a hot mix of lava and pulverized older rock, overtaking the avalanching face.