Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsVolcanoes

Mt. St. Helens Marks Anniversary, Quietly

May 19, 1987|United Press International

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Climbers scaled Mt. St. Helens to peer into the mile-wide crater as the volcano marked the seventh anniversary of its devastating eruption in unusual fashion Monday--by staying quiet.

"Seven years after the 'Big One,' the mountain's vital signs are pretty stable," said geologist Pat Pringle of the Cascades Volcano Observatory, operated by the U.S. Geological Survey.

The situation was far different at 8:31 a.m. on the quiet Sunday morning of May 18, 1980, when 57 people died and 500 square miles of forest was destroyed as the mountaintop exploded with a mighty roar.

Observation crews flew into the crater Monday, taking their periodic measurements of the dome's size and checking instruments to make sure they function properly.

But, unlike the past, this year the researchers had an audience. Climbers have been allowed to scale the mountain's relatively intact south slope this spring for the first time since the area was closed in 1980. During the spring and summer, up to 100 permits a day are being issued to the climbers.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|