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Photos, Video: Mount St. Helens Blew its Top 30 Years Ago Today


Mount St. Helens in Washington state blew its top 30 years ago today, at 8:32 am. The Big Picture has an amazing set of photographs shot during and after the eruption.

Watch Dan Rather's CBS News report from May 21, 1980, AFTER THE JUMP...


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  1. It was a Sunday morning, I lived in Seattle, and was laying in bed and heard a low booooom. I thought it was just another sonic boom from a plane, a common occurrence, what with Boeing and other military sites around. It wasn't until later in the day that I turned on the TV and saw what had happened (no instant news back then with computers, cell phones, etc)

    Posted by: James | May 18, 2010 9:14:45 AM

  2. I was living in Holland at the time, completely cut off from my family & friends in my hometown of Aberdeen Washington. Though later, I came to understand that they were in no real danger, I will never forget that helpless feeling. As only sporatic reports came in to me half a world away. It was such a new thing back then, no one knew what would happen. All I could think of was a exhibit I had resently seen in NYC, on Pompeii...not so comforting a thought.

    Posted by: booka | May 18, 2010 10:40:09 AM

  3. Wow! Has it been thirty years already? One of the the most amazing things I've ever witnessed in my life.

    Posted by: Bud | May 18, 2010 11:09:17 AM

  4. We could see the mountain from our house in Hillsboro, OR. It was the only mountain in the Cascades we had a view of. The blast shook my parents awake, but my bedroom faced the opposite direction so I slept through it. (Hey, I was a teenager -- staying up late Saturday nights, sleeping late Sunday mornings was what I did then!) I remember thinking, watching the mountain spew smoke and ash from our family room window, that I would never see anything like that again. Then, many years later, watching the carnage from my Chelsea apartment window on 9/11, I thought, "This looks just like Mt. St. Helens."

    Posted by: Michael M. | May 18, 2010 2:23:13 PM

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