Mount St. Helens is still active

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Mount St. Helens in 1980 when it erupted. (Source: CBS News) Mount St. Helens in 1980 when it erupted. (Source: CBS News)
I have a jar of ash from the second eruption of Mount St. Helens. (Source: Paul Horton) I have a jar of ash from the second eruption of Mount St. Helens. (Source: Paul Horton)
The force was so massive that it created the largest landslide in recorded history. (Source: CBS News) The force was so massive that it created the largest landslide in recorded history. (Source: CBS News)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

I was 9 years old living in Portland, Oregon and will never forget May 18, 1980, when Mount St. Helens erupted.   

It happened at 8:30 in the morning and caused a 5.1 magnitude earthquake and a huge explosion. The force was so massive that it created the largest landslide in recorded history. The entire north face of the mountain was gone.

The forest was destroyed after mud and rock created a wave that traveled up to 300 mph. Hundreds of homes disappeared along with 250 miles of roads. Experts say that it caused more than $1 billion in damage and sadly 57 people lost their lives that day.

I was in third grade and as a kid, I remember being completely freaked out. We were on vacation along the Oregon coast when a second eruption happened and I remember the sky completely turn black. Ash was everywhere! I still have a jar full of it that I have saved for 37 years. I love sharing it at schools. 

Here we are about four decades away and the volcano is starting to create small magnitude earthquakes. It's a sign that it is still active and the USGS is keeping a close eye on the mountain. They say we don’t have to have any fear at the moment, but the recent quakes are a reminder that the bomb under the mountain is slowly recharging.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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