A total of 57 people died.
The Mt. St. Helens eruption was the most destructive in U.S history in terms of economic impact.
It cost the U.S an estimated total of 1.1 billion dollars in damage, and Congress also “approved 950 million dollars in emergency funds to the Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and the Small Business Administration to help recovery efforts” (Bagley, 2013).
According to Oregon State University, “Thirty logging trucks, 22 transport vehicles, and 39 railcars were damaged or destroyed along with 4.7 billion board feet of timber”.
The ice and snow on top of Mt. St. Helens melted, causing flooding, mudflows, and lahars. A lahar is a geologic term for a destructive mudflow on the slopes of a volcano.
Millions of fish died, trees were ripped out of the ground, and roads, bridges, and railways were damaged.
Flights cancelled, telephone lines and electricity were knocked out, and more than 200 homes were destroyed.
In addition to these losses, the tourism industry greatly declined, causing the local economy to lose revenue.
In 1982, Mt. St. Helens became a National Volcanic Monument as declared by Congress.
Last year, 2015, the U.S commemorated the 35-anniversary since the eruption. Today, tourism has returned in spite of, and because of the eruption; more than 300,000 people visit each year.
Mt. St. Helens is still active and will erupt again in the future. But when??
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