Eruption of Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens has a rap sheet as long as your arm.

MOUNT ST. HELENS, ERUPTION OF, the most dead­ly vol­cano at­tack ev­er to have oc­curred on U.S. soil. On the morn­ing of March 27, 1980, at 8:32 Pa­cif­ic Stan­dard Time, Mount St. He­lens, then a lit­tle-known mem­ber of the Cas­cade moun­tain range, erupt­ed with the ex­plo­sive force of near­ly sev­en mega­tons—com­pa­ra­ble to that of a hy­dro­gen bomb’s det­o­na­tion.

Fifty-sev­en peo­ple per­ished in the blast and hun­dreds more were left home­less. A pan­ic en­sued over vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty to the na­tion’s rough­ly 170 of­fi­cial­ly dor­mant vol­ca­noes, and Pres­i­dent Jim­my Carter’s in­abil­i­ty to con­vince the vot­ing pub­lic that his ad­min­is­tra­tion was not “soft” on the en­vi­ron­ment ul­ti­mate­ly cost him his re-elec­tion that Novem­ber.

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