A calm volcano until 1980, when it had a catastrophic eruption. The most destructive eruption in the United States, causing the death of 57 people, leaving 250 people without homes, destroying 47 bridges, 24 kilometers (15 miles) of railway and 298 kilometers (185 miles) of highway. In a few moments, the landscape was dramatically changed and the eruption lasted for nine hours.
The elevation of the mountain was reduced from 2,950 meters (9,677 feet) to 2,550 meters (8,365 feet) and the peak was replaced by a 1.6 kilometer (1 mile) wide caldera.
You can climb the peak of the mountain and see the effects of the eruption, the moon-like landscape and the devastated forests. Today it is a National Volcanic Monument.
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