September 27, 2004

Mount St. Helens Volcano May Erupt

This report is crossposted here.

News reports indicate that Mt. Saint Helens has started to erupt. I have been posting about this for days, not really believing it would happen. Well, I was wrong! My previous post has been updated daily and is located here. For your convenience, I have reposted it in the extended entry below. Thanks for Digger for notifying me. He's also on the case. UPDATES BELOW

Whoa!! Check out that pic above from Fox News. Awesome! And by awesome I mean I am truly awestruck by the pics, not Spicolli awesome. The pic below is from the Seattle Post Inetlligencer via M.H. King. It's from earlier and only shows the steam

Click here for live video provided by KGW-TV/DT Portland & KING-TV/DT Seattle. You'll have to sit through a commercial before the video starts, but give it a second (link also via M.H. King).

Duane the Forester is pretty close to the volcano and he's liveblogging it. If you can't wait, he reports "At 40 miles away I didn't feel anything rumbling, sorry but this is one of those cases where MSM has an advantage. The ash is headed my way, however so if we get ashfall here I'll photoblog the event."

KGW-TV/DT Portland reports that there were three large bursts, than the eruuption tapered off. No lava in site. Ash and steam from the eruption have caused several flights to be cancelled out of Portland and Seattle.

UPDATE 4:30 EDT: Watching USGS press conference. Eruption at 12:03 PST--lasted 24 minutes, plume went to 10,000 ft. They report no lava flow. Some glacier melt being detected and elevated waterflow. No mudslides detected. The USGS guy says that there have been half a dozen of these types of eruptions since the last big one. The difference between this eruption and those other small eruptions is that the seismic activity was way larger this time. In fact, the seismic action (those are earthquakes folks) this time is GREATER than the big blow. However, experts still don't expect as large an eruption this time. Yeah, this is the inner geek coming out in me.

New favorite quote from Duane who is liveblogging this thing from ground zero: "John Kerry calls it the "wrong eruption at the wrong place at the wrong time"

One expert is now claiming that he is noticing mud flow coming down the mountain.

Mount St. Helens Live Webcam Here. Very Cool. (site down due to volume)

10/02 UPDATE: Some experts saying they expect another eruption shortly.

John Little is also covering this and has some good resources linked in this post which he has been updating. Rob at Say Anything also covering with some cool pics. Daily Recycler has some online news footage, but the link to the live feed above is to a Portland station live covering it and they have some excellent close-up footage. Crazy Gator also has some wicked cool pics. Brian B. is blogging from Eugene and says he might get some of the ash. James Joyner finds an updated story on my earlier report of the morons flocking to Mount St. Helens as tourists.

"We have had small swarm of earthquakes that begun last Thursday and are worried that a small explosion may occur without warning," said Peter Frenzen, a scientist from Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

"The earthquake activity is occurring below the dome -- all this could increase the likelihood of small rock slides from the lava dome," he said, adding that the mountain had not been hit by waves of quakes since 2001.

Trails up the mountain were closed to climbers and hikers after quakes measuring between two and to 2.8 on the Richter Scale shook the area amid fears of mud and rock slides over an eight kilometer (five mile) area around the peak.

The area north of the peak was hard hit in the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens that left 57 people dead, devastating hundreds of square kilometers (miles) and spewing ash over much of the Pacific Northwest region.

The mountain's top lies around 88 kilometers (55 miles) northeast of the Oregon's main city of Portland, which was also covered in a thick layer of ash in the 1980 eruption.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 05:03 PM | Comments |