Tsunami: History and Tips for Preparation

I was born within the Pacific Ring of Fire. Where I grew up in the North Cascades, I could see volcanos from basically every room in the house. Sauk Mountain you could sometimes see the indentation at the top. Mount Baker was nearby, and steam was sometimes seen coming out of it. Of course, there was Mount Rainier as well, towering over Seattle. Part of the reason my Dad thought it was a good idea to move back to his home state of North Carolina was that between floods and all the possible volcanic eruptions, it did not seem like a great place to be in the long term.

We would have left for other reasons regardless, but the Ring of Fire issue was definitely a consideration as well. The main reason my Dad had a bit of a complex about volcanoes is due to being woken up in 1980 by Mount St. Helens exploding 150 miles away. A volcano exploding is quite a thing to have brought you out of bed first thing in the morning for your job at the sawmill. This was when he and my mother were living near Forks, Washington and my brother was about 5. My father described the explosion as sounding like a champagne cork popping. This was followed by a second explosion that was louder and finally the third distinct noise was a grinding and roaring sound that he told me you would have to hear to really understand.

It was a pretty scary event for them, and there was a lot of ash in the air on the mainland of Washington State, but those on the peninsula didn’t get a lot of it due to the way the winds typically blow.

This video is amazing, but the quality is not that great because a lot of it was taken during the actual eruption of Mount St. Helens. I want to point out that the survivor has a moment where he changes his attitude that I think is an…

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