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Event: VO Volcano
Number: 1980-000002
Country: USA United States
Location: Mt. Saint Helen?s, WA
Date (YMD): 1980-5-18
Time:
Duration:
Magnitude:
Information Source:USGS (http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/MSH/May18/msh_may18_impact_aftermath.html)
Comments: The May 18, 1980, eruption was the most destructive in the history of the United States. Novarupta (Katmai) Volcano, Alaska, erupted considerably more material in 1912, but owing to the isolation and sparse population of the region affected, there were no human deaths and little property damage. In contrast, Mount St. Helens' eruption in a matter of hours caused loss of lives and widespread destruction of valuable property, primarily by the debris avalanche, the lateral blast, and the mudflows. Landscape changes caused by the May 18 eruption were readily seen on high-altitude photographs. Such images, however, cannot reveal the impacts of the devastation on people and their works. The May 18 eruption resulted in scores of injuries and the loss of 57 lives. Within the United States before May 18, 1980, only two known casualties had been attributed to volcanic activity - a photographer was struck by falling rocks during the explosive eruption of Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, in 1924; and an Army sergeant who disappeared during the 1944 eruption of Cleveland Volcano, Chuginadak Island, Aleutians. Autopsies indicated that most of Mount St. Helens' victims died by asphyxiation from inhaling hot volcanic ash, and some by thermal and other injuries. Accurate cost figures remain difficult to determine. Early estimates were too high and ranged from $2 to $3 billion, primarily reflecting the timber, civil works, and agricultural losses. A refined estimate of $1.1 billion was determined in a study by the International Trade Commission at the request of Congress. A supplemental appropriation of $951 million for disaster relief was voted by Congress, of which the largest share went to the Small Business Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Aproximate Location::
 
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