Alaska earthquake: Fears grow for Mount St Helens volcano ERUPTION after 8.2 quake

Tuesday, January 23, 2018
By Paul Martin

THE 8.2 magnitude earthquake that has triggered tsunami warnings off the coast of Alaska has sparked fears it could awaken America’s most deadly volcano Mount St Helens, with the 8,363ft mountain’s threat level at “very high” as shockwaves rattle the northwest states.

Tue, Jan 23, 2018

The volcano in Washington state left 57 people dead and levelled 250 homes when a 5.1 magnitude earthquake caused it to erupt in 1980.

An avalanche of debris crashed down the mountain and reduced its height by 1314ft.

The trail of destruction brought down 47 bridges, and wiped out 15miles of railyway and 185miles of highway.

Between 2004 and 2008 it was classed as being in a state of eruption as it continuously released magma.

And it is now feared the volcano could erupt again in the wake of this morning’s powerful earthquake off the coast of Alaska.

The US Geological Survey has its current threat level at “very high” as shockwaves of the earthquake, which initially measured 8.2 before being downgraded to a 7.9 magnitude quake, send tremors across the northwest.

It struck off the coast of Alaska at 00:31 local time (9:31 GMT) and caused tsunami warnings across the US west coast.

Canada could also feel the force of the giant waves if they are triggered.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory has put the the 1,730m Cleveland Volcano in Alaska on the “Watch” category of “Orange Alert”, which means it is “exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption”.

If the alert level rises to “Warning/Orange” it will mean that an eruption is “imminent, underway, or suspected”.

The state’s bigger Shishaldin Volcano, that stands at 2,857m, is on a lesser yellow alert.

Volcanic eruptions have occurred shortly after earthquakes in the past and scientists believe it is likely they are linked.

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