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Mount St. Helens Eruption (1980)

  • By: Stephen T. Schroth, Jason A. Helfer & Sarah E. Carlin
  • In: Encyclopedia of Disaster Relief
  • Edited by: K. Bradley Penuel & Matt Statler
  • Subject:Public Health (general), Public Policy (general)

The Mount St. Helens eruption in Washington state in 1980 was the most shocking and damaging volcanic eruption that the continental United States has ever experienced. Preceded for months by earthquakes and other activity, the volcano finally erupted on May 18, 1980, killing 57 people. Many animals, flora, and other wildlife were also killed in the eruption. After dealing with the volcanic activity, the country had to focus on recovering from the incredibly destructive event, and decide upon the disaster relief that could be done. This disaster affected many aspects of life, including real estate losses, business disruption, and personal problems stemming from the disaster.

Mount St. Helens is located 45 miles west of Mount Adams. The two volcanic mountains, considered to be “brother and sister,” ...

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