Visit Mount St. Helens virtually on 40th anniversary of eruption

Visit Mount St. Helens virtually on 40th anniversary of eruption
May 18, 1980. (USGS)

On the 40th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption, people are being encouraged to visit virtually.

Fifty-seven people perished when Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980. It was the deadliest volcanic event in U.S. history.

The Mount St. Helens Institute has a collection of live videos, resources and activities posted on its website for Monday events.

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10 a.m. - STEM in 30: Mission Debrief about volcanoes. Join the conversation with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History’s Global Volcanism program. Watch on Facebook Live on the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution and STEM in 30 Facebook pages.

11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Washington Emergency Management: Brian Terbush, volcano program preparedness coordinator, answers your questions about Mt. St. Helens and our state’s five active volcanoes using Facebook Live.

2 p.m. – A ranger will give a short talk about May 18th on and its legacy followed by a Q&A session on Facebook.

6-8:30 p.m. – Mount St. Helens virtual story hour. Washington State Parks hosts a live event with a special 40th Eruption Anniversary program.

6:30 p.m. – Northwest scientists present a review of Cascadia tectonics, volcanoes, hazards, and a summary of how the science and monitoring has evolved. The event will be live on YouTube and Facebook.

“May is Volcano Awareness Month, a time we want you to not just look at Mount St. Helens, but remember we have four other active volcanoes in our state – Mount Rainer, Mount Adams, Mount Baker and Glacier Peak,” says Brian Terbush, volcano program preparedness coordinator for the Washington Emergency Management Division.

Hundreds of thousands visit the mountain every year, but right now people aren’t being allowed as close as they would like. Recreation sites and visitor centers are closed due to the coronavirus. Also closed, is Spirit Lake Memorial Highway.

“As warmer weather returns to the Pacific Northwest, we know lots of travelers look forward to venturing up the mountain, especially because this year marks 40 years since the Mount St. Helens eruption,” said WSDOT Maintenance Supervisor Aaron Yanez. “With the recreational areas along the upper reaches of the highway temporarily closed, we made the decision to keep the highway closed.”