46 minutes ago
Hey guys! What's up?! It's almost the end of the weekend already. It's 76° on a Sunday evening of May 19, 2019, and right now I got a 1980s real life event to share with you. .
39 years ago on May 18, 1980, a major volcanic eruption occurred at St. Helens, a volcano located in Skamania County, in the US state of Washington. The eruption (a VEI 5 event) was the most significant volcanic eruption to occur in contagious 48 US states since the much smaller 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak in California. It has often been declared the most disastrous volcanic eruption in US history. The eruption was preceded by a 2-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. An earthquake at 8:32:17 am PDT (UTC-7) on Sunday, May 18th caused the entire weakened north face to slide away, creating the largest landslide ever recorded. 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. An eruption column rose 80,000 feet (24 km; 15 mi) into the atmosphere and deposited ash in 11 US states and significant ash in 2 Canadian provinces. At he same time, snow, ice, and several entire glaciers on the volcano melted, forming a series large lahars (volcanic mudslides) that reached as far as the Columbia River, nearly 50 miles (80 km) to the southwest. Less severe outbursts continued into the next day, only to be followed by other large, but not as destructive eruptions later that year. Thermal energy released during the eruption was equal to 26 megatons. .
The volcanic eruption killed approximately 57 people and thousands of animals, reduced hundreds of square miles to wasteland, and causing over $1 billion in damage (equivalent to $3.3 billion today). .
RIP to all the 57 victims who lost their lives in this devastatingly tragic event.