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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Eruption of MT.St.Helens in 1980

In 1984 my cousin and I was camped opposite of Mt.St.Helens,WA, We wanted to see the site of the biggest volcano eruption which had hit America in centuries. When driving into the area we were soon met by fields of fallen trees, most of them showing burn marks. It was 4 years after the eruption had flattened all surrounding forest, killed several people and the resulting floods had swept away many buildings. Signs had been set up along the road warning visitors of possible earthquakes and volcano activity. But this was a gorgeous sunny day in July 1984 and we drove up one of the makeshift roads the forest service had built for salvaging any usable timber. From our site we could see the western flank of the mountain. Instead of a typical volcano cone we saw a flattened top. The eruption had blown off 400m (1300ft.) of the mountain top. The devastation was of monumental scope. 57 people died, 200 homes and 47 bridges, 24km of railroad tracks and 300km of roads were destroyed.

We revisited the area in 2005 en-route to California. new forest had grown up, paved roads all around, a visitor and observation center had been built. Life was (almost) like it used to be. But mother nature has spoken, leaving an everlasting reminder of her power and might. 

The video below is quite long. It is well worth to watch.


  1. We lived there and watched the eruption from our house. For months before the actual eruption we were periodically covered with ash. When the mountain finally blew it looked like a mushroom bomb. It was quite an event.

  2. Fascinating video, watched the whole thing. Tells the human side of the story quite well.

  3. A very interesting film. Thank you very much.
    Elaine in Saltair, Vancouver Island BC


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