30 years later, visitors remember Mount St. Helens eruption

Tuesday marks the 30th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens

Ted S. Warren/AP
A television news crew sets up their shot at the Loowit viewpoint at Mount St. Helens on the 30th anniversary of the volcano's eruption, Tuesday, in Washington state.

Visitors to Mount St. Helens on Tuesday are waiting for it to emerge from rain clouds on the 30th anniversary of its big eruption.

Visitors headed to the Johnston Ridge Observatory, which is about five miles from the crater. It has just reopened after its winter closure and is holding events to commemorate the May 18, 1980 blast.

The bulging volcano blew off the top 1,300 feet of the mountain, killed 57 people, knocked down 230 square miles of forest, filled local rivers with mudflows and scattered ash for miles.

From the Monitor's archives

Dramatic sunsets may result from Mt. St. Helens eruption (May 20, 1980)

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