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News

May is Volcano Preparedness Month in Washington State

For the month of May, residents in the State of Washington will have the opportunity to become more familiar with volcano hazards in their communities and learn about steps they can take to reduce potential impacts. The USGS in cooperation with Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Washington Emergency Management Division, and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network have created a variety of products and programs to bring awareness to the state's five main potentially active volcanoes.

May is also the month to commemorate the May 18, 1980 catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens, which not only caused massive destruction and loss of life but also became a catalyst for a new era of unprecedented scientific discovery, technology development and community awareness. Follow USGS Volcanoes on Facebook or Twitter to see photographs and news articles and read eye-witness accounts of events as they unfolded 37 years ago.

Read the full USGS Press Release to learn more about events.

  • Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier, aerial view toward the north.
    Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier, aerial view toward the north.
    Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier, aerial view toward the north.
  • Mount Adams, Washington as seen from Mount St. Helens (west).  Trees are covered in frost in the foreground.
    Mount Adams, Washington as seen from Mount St. Helens (west).  Trees are covered in frost in the foreground.
    Mount Adams, Washington as seen from Mount St. Helens (west). Trees are covered in frost in the foreground.
  • Upper west face of Glacier Peak, Washington.
    Upper west face of Glacier Peak, Washington.
    Upper west face of Glacier Peak, Washington.
  • Glacier Peak is the tallest peak amongst a sea of many mountains in northern Washington.
    Glacier Peak is the tallest peak amongst a sea of many mountains in northern Washington.
    Glacier Peak is the tallest peak amongst a sea of many mountains in northern Washington.
  • Eruptions in the Cascade Range during the past 4000 years. USGS GIP 63
    Eruptions in the Cascade Range during the past 4000 years. USGS GIP 63
    Eruptions in the Cascade Range during the past 4000 years. USGS GIP 63
  • Mount Rainier rises above Tacoma, Washington and boat harbor, which may be impacted during the next eruption of the volcano.
    Mount Rainier rises above Tacoma, Washington and boat harbor, which may be impacted during the next eruption of the volcano.
    Mount Rainier rises above Tacoma, Washington and boat harbor, which may be impacted during the next eruption of the volcano.
  • Mount Baker in the background of the Tesoro oil refinery in Padilla Bay, Washington. Volcanic hazards from Mount Baker such as ash fall could impact this refinery during a future eruption.
    Mount Baker in the background of the Tesoro oil refinery in Padilla Bay, Washington. Volcanic hazards from Mount Baker such as ash fall could impact this refinery during a future eruption.
    Mount Baker in the background of the Tesoro oil refinery in Padilla Bay, Washington. Volcanic hazards from Mount Baker such as ash fall could impact this refinery during a future eruption.
  • LaharZ model (left) of the possible lahar hazards from the Carbon and Puyallup River drainages from Mount Rainier. The town of Orting, Washington (photograph) sits in the lahar hazard zone.
    LaharZ model (left) of the possible lahar hazards from the Carbon and Puyallup River drainages from Mount Rainier. The town of Orting, Washington (photograph) sits in the lahar hazard zone.
    LaharZ model (left) of the possible lahar hazards from the Carbon and Puyallup River drainages from Mount Rainier. The town of Orting, Washington (photograph) sits in the lahar hazard zone.