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Sun May 17, 2020, 01:22 PM

Forty years after Mount St. Helens eruption, pandemic sparks public safety parallels

Seismologist Steve Malone feels a magnitude-5.1 rumble of deja vu whenever he hears the latest developments in the debate over reopening businesses amid the coronavirus outbreak.

It reminds Malone of the debate that raged in the days before Mount St. Helens blew its top on May 18, 1980, devastating more than 150 square miles of forest land around the volcano in southwestern Washington state, spewing ash all the way to Idaho, causing more than $1 billion in damage and killing 57 people.

In the weeks before the blast, some wondered whether the threat was overblown.

“Back then, it was essentially an unfolding local disaster,” said Malone, who was the principal scientist responsible for monitoring Mount St. Helens at the time and is now a professor emeritus at the University of Washington. “We didn’t know what the result was going to be, but there was an evolving situation that spring that we didn’t understand very well.”

He recalled the discussions over what to do. “There were all sorts of pressures on the civil authorities to not close up areas to the public, to let people go about their daily lives in the same way,” Malone said.

Finally, two weeks before the big eruption, Washington’s governor signed an emergency order to close off a “red zone” around the mountain. Forty years later, Gov. Jay Inslee is facing a similar balancing act over what to shut down due to the risk of COVID-19 infection, and what to open up.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/forty-years-mount-st-helens-160059835.html

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Reply Forty years after Mount St. Helens eruption, pandemic sparks public safety parallels (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 2020 OP
roamer65 May 2020 #1
USALiberal May 2020 #2
FreeState May 2020 #4
roamer65 May 2020 #5
FreeState May 2020 #7
MFM008 May 2020 #3
roamer65 May 2020 #6

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 01:37 PM

1. Reminds me of the lodge owner Harry Truman.

I still wonder what he thought when the mountain popped it’s cork.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #1)

Sun May 17, 2020, 01:39 PM

2. I assume it was quick, less than 30 seconds. n

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #1)

Sun May 17, 2020, 03:17 PM

4. I feel bad for his cats still

He decided to stay his cats did not.

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Response to FreeState (Reply #4)

Sun May 17, 2020, 03:51 PM

5. Did not know he had cats.

You’re right. Very selfish of him.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #5)

Sun May 17, 2020, 05:22 PM

7. He had 16 cats

I can remember the news showing them and talking about them the night before the eruption. Could be because I was 9 years old and we remember odd things at that age

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 02:59 PM

3. Remember

Like it was yesterday.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun May 17, 2020, 03:53 PM

6. I remember the governor.

Dixy Lee Ray.

One of first woman governors in the US.

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