Mount St. Helens
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Mount St. Helens at sunset as viewed from Portland, Oregon.  The beauty of this active volcano does not show the power released when it erupted May 18, 1980.  Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. Nearly 230 square miles of forest was blown down or buried beneath volcanic deposits. At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind, turning day into night as dark, gray ash fell over eastern Washington and Oregon. The eruption lasted 9 hours, but Mount St. Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments.

 

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