The day Mount St. Helens erupts – level 2


In March 1980, there were several small earthquakes near Mount St. Helens, US. Then the earthquakes started to be stronger, and geologists worried that the volcano could erupt.

The Washington governor declared a state of emergency and nobody could come close to the volcano.

On May 18, a magnitude 5.1 earthquake hit the area and it happened right below the volcano. A part of the volcano started to slide and it caused the largest landslide in history. Its speed was between 180 and 250 kmph.

Hot gases, ash, and lava started to come out from the volcano and the explosion destroyed about 600 square kilometers of forest. The ash rose to the height of 20 kilometers. The eruption killed 57 people and destroyed 200 houses.

Difficult words: geologist (a scientist who studies materials on Earth), landslide (when a part of a hill or mountain starts to move), lava (very hot liquid rock that comes out from a volcano).

What would have been the potential impact on the surrounding landscape if Mount St. Helens had not experienced a landslide?


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