MT ST HELENS, Wash. (WKRG) — On May 18, 1980, at 8:32 AM PDT Mt. St. Helens’ peak erupted leaving ash, toxic gasses, and 57 people dead. Today marks the 40th anniversary of this tragic natural disaster.
The initial eruption devastated the wildlife, which still has not recovered fully 40 years on. The area around Mt. St. Helens is known to be the location of many camping sites. Many of these camping sites were covered in mud, boiling debris, and ash.
Among the 57 people who died, one was a couple who was killed twenty-five miles away. The deaths came from being buried by the avalanche of the northern face collapse, heat, or by suffocation from the burning ash. Surprisingly the following two days of the eruption an estimated 125-150 survivors were rescued from the blast zone.
See original footage from the 1980 news report above.
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