Nature Brings Disaster Back to Life

Mount Saint Helens

by John A.


Nature Brings Disaster Back to Life!

This is John A. reporting from Mount Saint Helens in the Caascade Mountains in Washington state.  Several days ago, exactly at 8:32 a.m. on May 18, 1980, a huge eruption shot the top off of the mountain. Scientists say Mount Saint Helens was awakened by a strong earthquake. There is disaster everywhere. Trees are down for miles. Most of the mountain top is in the lake. Towns as far as 310 miles away were covered with ash from the volcano. Ash is still pouring out of the mountain.

The eruption was expected. The volcano had been studied for years. The people predicted it would erupt before the 21st century. The reason they were taken by surprise was the time and force of the explosion.

The Volcano had been peaceful since it had erupted in 1857.  It was beautiful. The earthquakes of the 1970s sent magma to the inside of the mountain. Then the north part of the mountain started to bulge as the lava was rising. When the mountain could not hold any more hot gas, rock and lava poured down the land. The top was gone and hot ash is everywhere.

The eruption of the volcano has lasted for four days then it became peaceful. Today, May 25, there was another large eruption, but the main force is spent. Mount Saint Helens had blown its top. Now it should be quiet for 50 to 150 years.

The Recovery

Today is May 30, 1993. This is John A. reporting 13 years later from Mount Saint Helens in Washington state. I am visiting the volcano with my grandparents from Tennessee. Thirteen years later, it still looks bad. The lake is full of logs. Trees are lying on the ground. The mountain looks scary. We cannot climb to the top. Steam is coming out. Even as bad as it looks, the Park Rangers are very excited. Mount Saint Helens is coming back to life.

Signs of life are starting to show. Plants are growing all around the mountain. Bugs and small animals are living in what was ash. Everyone is hoping the area will recover. The volcano is not expected to erupt for 37 to 150 years. Maybe it will give nature a chance before the cycle starts again.

Reporter, John A.

Back to the Earth Page
Back to Volcanos in Time

Email Pattie Elementary School with your comments!