Essay on The Eruption Of The Volcano

1548 Words Feb 11th, 2015 null Page
“Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!” Those were the last words anyone heard from David Johnson. He had been closely monitoring a steaming, trembling snow-capped mountain near Vancouver, Washington. Mount St. Helens had not erupted in over 100 years. But two months earlier, an earthquake had jolted it to life. Homes were evacuated and roads were closed as hundreds of explosive blasts of steam burst from the volcano and earthquakes shook the area. Scientists knew that pressure was building up inside the mountain. They could see that the north side had grown outward almost 450 feet (140 meters). This was evidence that molten rock, called magma, had risen high into the volcano. They felt that a massive eruption could happen soon. But when?

On May 17, 1980, after two months of thousands of daily earthquakes and more steam blasts, the volcano was silent again. Many observers had been there to watch the expected drama. They went home, thinking that the excitement was over.

But it wasn’t.

On May 18, 1980, just seconds after David Johnson radioed those final words to his colleagues, the huge mountain blew itself apart in the worst volcanic event in the contiguous United States since 1915. His monitoring station was more than 5 miles away, which he considered a safe distance.

A huge landslide bulldozed down the mountain at almost 700 miles per hour, crashing over everything in its path. Debris roared through the land below as far as 14 miles (23 km) west of the blast. The…

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