America’s most famous volcano, Mount St. Helens, could be primed for another deadly eruption.
Geoscientists say that a swarm of earthquakes has intensified to the point that there are now 40 a week.
The earthquakes could be a clue that magma is building up under Mount St. Helens, much as did before the famous eruption on May 18, 1980. That event was the deadliest volcanic explosion in American history, killing 57 people, pumping 540 million tons of ash into the air and triggering the largest landslide in recorded history. The ash cloud spread as far at the central US.
“Since the start of 2016, an earthquake swarm has been detected underneath the currently quiet Washington (state) volcano,” Erik Klemetti, a professor of geosciences at Ohio’s Denison University, wrote in Wired. “USGS volcanologists and seismologists are interpreting this swarm as a response to the slow ‘recharging’ for the volcano, where new magma is rising up underneath St. Helens as it slumbers.”