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"Volcanic Watelands" Top 5 Page for this destination Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument Favorite Tip by Geoff_Wright


Favorite thing: Every living thing within about 10 miles of the north side of the volcano - trees and vegitation, and humans, including scientists and laymen,- was doomed. A number of people hesitated for a while in order to take a few quick pictures, then, realizing their situation, most ran or tried to drive away from the approaching cloud of dust and superheated steam. The near-supersonic lateral blast of rock, ash, and hot gas engulfed the area with a force sufficient to strip huge trees bare and uproot or break them off at ground level. The temperature within the cloud reached 500ºF, sufficient to kill every living creature it came into contact with, and to cause serious burns to humans and animals many miles from the actual volcano. The avalanche of rock and mud roared over Spirit Lake and the valley of the North Fork of the Toutle River, burying them under layers of rock, mud and ash up to 600 hundred feet thick. The loss to human life was put at 57.

Strangely enough, whilst writing this page, there was a programme on UK TV about 'Natural Disasters', and one of these recounted the eruption of Mount St Helens. I had seen a similar programme before, but this time, when I saw those mudslides, it meant something very different to me this time.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 3, 2004
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