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ring of fire


[ Mount Saint Helens | 18 May 1980 | Before & After ]


Had you been living here twenty-six years ago today you would have seen the afternoon sky turn black as night when Mount Saint Helens decided to send clouds of soot and ash into the sky. I was one month old at the time, and while this was too young to actually remember anything of the event, television footage from that day shows what might almost be confused for a bizarre early summer snow - if you take your snow in shades of dark grey. The area my family was living in at the time recorded around five inches of ash, while in a few places there was enough accumulation to bury local houses.

Mount Saint Helens began rumbling again last spring, but apart from some steam blasts nothing ever came of it. However, lest you think that there's only one volcano to worry about in the area, the United States Geologic Survey has a map that shows the collection of volcanoes that make up some of the eastern range of the Pacific's 'Ring of Fire'. The Cascade Mountains are located along a plate subduction zone in western Washington, so even without an eruption there's also the fun of preparing for possible earthquakes, lahars, and mudslides. Never a dull moment, it seems.

Now, on the other side of the ocean, Mount Merapi in Indonesia has woken up in recent weeks to produce some excitement of its own. However interesting it is to hear that the word 'lahar' comes from Indonesia, I would feel much better if Inok weren't living within 30km of an active hot spot. I suppose it does present a breath-taking setting for normally mundane things like travelling to university, though here's to hoping that things don't get out of hand in Yogyakarta. Be careful, Inok!

Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
flaxendandelion
May. 19th, 2006 03:46 am (UTC)
There he goes again, acting like his state is all dangerous...
samedi
May. 19th, 2006 03:59 am (UTC)
I knew I'd get at least one comment for this entry. ;)

How long has that joke been circulating about California breaking off from the rest of the country and falling into the Pacific? I see it still hasn't happened yet.
flaxendandelion
May. 19th, 2006 04:10 am (UTC)
It's not a joke, it's an urban myth, probably created by some hater from the state of Washington.

And it's not like Miss Saint Helens has blown her top off lately either. Just a little huffy puffy steam. What a drama queen. ;)

samedi
May. 19th, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
And here I thought it was from Californians trying to create some extra publicity.

How many volcanoes are there in the state again? I see there are four, all located next to Oregon. I bet some bigwig from California had the border drawn so you'd have something down there to help you compete with Washington. :D
flaxendandelion
May. 20th, 2006 01:43 am (UTC)
Man, we don't need no volcanoes. We have earthquakes, mudslides, floods, and fires. Washington owes its career to Helens!
samedi
May. 20th, 2006 02:06 am (UTC)
*Yawn* Washington has all of those, too. Oh, and tsunamis. By the way, how is this for a mudslide:

The Osceola lahar produced 5,600 years ago by Mount Rainier in Washington produced a wall of mud 180 m (600 feet) deep in the White River canyon and extends over an area of over 320 km².
flaxendandelion
May. 20th, 2006 02:10 am (UTC)
We had a tsunami warning in California last year. So there.

Los Angeles has tar pits.
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emma2403
May. 19th, 2006 11:00 am (UTC)
Impressive and kinda frightening.
samedi
May. 20th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
I wish I was old enough to have some memories of the eruption; instead all I have are old photos and stories.
pilarcruz
May. 19th, 2006 06:40 pm (UTC)
Ha ha, I remember when that happened. My grams has a picture of me with my beach toys, scraping ash in the driveway into a bucket.
ajodasso
May. 19th, 2006 11:24 pm (UTC)
I've been following the Mt. St. Helens stories with casual interest; the one about the "fin" shaped rock most recently made me raise an eyebrow.

(Also, I have a question - a friend of mine had me translate a line of dialogue for a story of hers into French:

Air Canada Vol 550 à Los Angeles est maintenant en embarquement à/de porte
> E58.


...and I can't decide which preposition is correct in this context. Do you know? The original English line was "Air Canada Flight 550 to Los Angeles is now boarding at gate E58.")
samedi
May. 20th, 2006 01:56 am (UTC)
I check out photos from Mt. St. Helens from time to time, but I don't remember any stories about a fin shaped rock. I'll have to look into that.

I would probably use à in that sentence, although this suggestion comes more as a guess than a certainty.
about_right
May. 20th, 2006 03:43 am (UTC)
Paul, you gotta believe me when I say things over here are not as bad as the news has been telling you. Everything is OK, business as usual around here.
samedi
May. 20th, 2006 03:49 am (UTC)
What, so I'm not allowed to sensationalize things for my friends' list? :P But yeah, from talking with you it doesn't sound like anything that out of the ordinary ...
evergreenheart
May. 25th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC)
you need a johnny cash icon for this post (not an elvis one), 'cause Cash sang a song called "ring of fire" :D

on another note, i was wondering why you chose the first quote on your userinfo...
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )