It is a crazy time we are living in right now. This pandemic is starting to feel like we are living through a historical event, that is affecting the world. But, I'm sure that is how just about everyone one of felt on this day 40 years ago. May 18th 1980, Mount St Helens erupted, spreading volcanic ash across much of the western United States. I am willing to bet that the eruption must have made some people feel as uneasy as the pandemic is making us feel today.

According to Wikipedia

The eruption, which had a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 5, was the most significant to occur in the contiguous 48 U.S. states since the much smaller 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak in California.[2] It has often been declared the most disastrous volcanic eruption in U.S. history. 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.

And the eruption was deadly to not only people nearby, but thousands of animals and thousands of acres of habitat.

According to Wikipedia

Approximately 57 people were killed directly, including innkeeper Harry R. Truman, photographers Reid Blackburn and Robert Landsburg, and geologist David A. Johnston. Hundreds of square miles were reduced to wasteland, causing over $1 billion in damage (equivalent to $3.4 billion in 2019), thousands of animals were killed, and Mount St. Helens was left with a crater on its north side.

For those in our state who remember the explosion, they tell of stories scooping volcanic ash like fresh snow. As the eruption blasted tons of ash into the sky spreading it to 11 states. Just the thought of the volcanic eruption will leave you in awe of the destructive force of mother nature.

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