Wed, May 19, 2010
Sci-Tech > Science

Stunning eruption moments 30 years ago

2010-05-19 08:40:48 GMT2010-05-19 16:40:48 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Ash billows from the crater where the summit of Mount St. Helens had been only hours earlier during a huge eruption on May 18th, 1980. (Photo Source: www.xinhuanet.com)

Mount St. Helens sends a plume of ash, smoke and debris skyward in this May 18, 1980 photo. (Photo Source: www.xinhuanet.com)

A satellite image shows the eastward spread of the ash plume across Washington state from the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, approximately one hour after the initial eruption. (Photo Source: www.xinhuanet.com)

Ashen clouds from the Mount St. Helens volcano move over Ephrata airport in Washington on Monday, May 19, 1980. (Photo Source: www.xinhuanet.com)

This aerial view shown May 23, 1980 from a search and rescue helicopter shows the new crater on Mount St. Helens formed by Sunday's massive eruption. (Photo Source: www.xinhuanet.com)

BEIJING,May 19(Xinhuanet) -- Mount St. Helens, which is located in Washington State, became world-famous for its catastrophic volcanic eruption on May 18th, 1980.

In this deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States, 57 people were killed, countless houses and roads were alsodestroyed.

The eruption caused a massive debris avalanche, reducing the elevation of the mountain's summit from 2,950m to 2,550 m and replacing it with a 1.6 km-wide horseshoe-shaped crater.

Following historic photos will lead you to retrospect that horrible, stunning period.

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