Episode 23: The eruption of Mount St. Helens

(Note: Don’t forget about the Kickstarter! There’s only a week and a half to go and there’s still $750 needed to reach our goal!)

Eruption by Steve Olsen is an excellent book on the eruption which details how the eruption impacted everyone involved from the first rumblings on the mountain to the first tree planted in the aftermath.

The Seconds from Disaster episode on the eruption provides an excellent visual description of just how the eruption occurred. Each episode of Seconds from Disaster is a recommendation for any disaster you might be interested in because they not only give a detailed timeline for each disaster, but also give computerized simulations which show the disasters and their causes so you can see what happened. It’s great for those of us who like diagrams and pictures to help understand how disasters worked.

The Minute by Minute episode is also a great documentary to watch on the eruption.

A 30th-anniversary video looking at how things have progressed since the eruption in terms of natural recovery.

Amateur video from a few years ago which briefly shows where Spirit Lake is in relation to the mountain. Note how when the mountain comes into view, you can see that the landslide would have slid directly down the slope toward the lake.

Another amateur video, this one showing the mountain as viewed from the Johnston Observatory. In this video, you can see just how close volcanologist David Johnston would have been standing to the eruption given where the observatory bearing his name and built on the spot where he died is located.

A detailed map listing all of the victims who died due to the eruption and where they were located at the time it occurred.

Here are some interviews with Harry R. Truman, owner and operator of the Mount St. Helens lodge, who died in the blast. Interview #1, Interview #2 (at the start), Interview #3 (in photos rather than video, from an Oregonian interview)

Episode 23: The eruption of Mount St. Helens

One thought on “Episode 23: The eruption of Mount St. Helens

  1. Cal Bray says:

    I just found out about your podcast today and listened to both the Westwego Grain Elevator episode and this one on Mt. St. Helens while I was at work. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, in a small town a little west of Mt. St. Helens, I was a kid when it erupted, my step-dad worked for one of the dredging companies who were the first to go into the Red Zone after it had been deemed safe. I work in Emergency Management for a local Native American tribe and took a course about natural disasters from a professor who also does work for the State’s Geology Dept. He was one of the first people to go into the Red Zone after the eruption and was a friend of Harry Glicken. About 4 summers ago a friend and I hiked to the top of the southern rim of the Mt. St. Helens crater. I look forward to checking out more episodes.


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