THREE Volcanoes in Pacific Northwest Now Rumbling with Earthquakes!

THREE Volcanoes in Pacific Northwest Now Rumbling with Earthquakes!

Last week, the world was told that Mt. Saint Helens was experiencing earthquakes.  Now, two other nearby volcanoes, Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier are also having quakes!

Last week, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN), the world was informed (via 19,000 stories) that Mt. Saint Helens was "recharging."  While scientists were explicitly clear there is NO SIGN OF IMMINENT ERUPTION, they pointed out that there had been more than 130 earthquakes, between 1.2 and 4 miles deep, in the area from March 14 thru May 2.

Fast forward about two weeks to today, May 16, and we now find the number of earthquakes is not only increasing, there are new earthquakes taking place at TWO ADDITIONAL VOLCANOES, Mt. Hood and Mt. Rainier!

The images below tell the story.

First, a look at where these volcanoes are located.  


RELATED : Mt. St. Helens Volcano Rumbles with 130 Earthquakes, Growing Magma Bulges, New Steam Emissions; Two Quakes Strike Cascadia Subduction Zone . . . Scientists Sound Alarm over San Andreas Fault!

Mt. Saint Helens

We will begin in the middle, with Mt. Saint Helens, since it's been in the news lately.  The split-image below shows what the mountain looked life BEFORE the 1980 eruption (left) and AFTER the eruption (right):


Notice the beautiful forest for miles and the magnificent lake in the left photo;  which wasall totally destroyed after the eruption in the right photo.  This is the mind-boggling power of one of these volcanoes; it can destroy everything in its path for miles.

And what just happens to be in its path?   Portland.   Here's an image showing Mt. St. Helens from Portland, OR


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Below is an image from the PNSN showing quakes at Mt. Saint Helens TODAY:


Notice where the earthquakes are taking place?  Right smack in the middle of the mouth of the volcano!  The "Caldera!"

Here's how the PNSN Seismograph recorded the earthquake activity at Mt. Saint Helens TODAY:



Looks like there's "a whole lot a shakin' goin' on!"

Mt. Rainier

The image below shows Mt. Rainier in all it's awesome magnificence, towering above Tacoma, WA:



We now see earthquake activity in the Caldera of Mt. Rainier to the North!

As above, the image tells the story.  The image below shows the earthquake activity at Mt. Rainier TODAY:



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As with Mt. Saint Helens, these earthquakes at Mt. Rainier are taking place high-up in the volcano itself, near the Caldera.

The image below shows how the PNSN seismographs recorded the earthquakes at Mt. Rainier TODAY:


That's a lot of earthquakes for one day!

Is the next major volcanic eruption in the United States just around the corner?  Mount St. Helens and the Yellowstone supervolcano get most of the attention, but many geologists are actually far more concerned about the potential danger that Mt. Rainier poses.  It has been called a “time bomb“, “the most dangerous mountain in the United States” and “one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world” due to its proximity to major population centers.  Scientists tell us that it is a matter of WHEN, not if, the next eruption will happen, and even a minor eruption could result in tens of thousands of Americans being literally buried alive in super-heated mud.  So what would a full-blown eruption do?  It would potentially cause death and destruction on a scale that is almost unimaginable.

On May 18th, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted with the power of 500 Hiroshima bombs.  At the time, very few scientists anticipated that Mount St. Helens was capable of such a powerful eruption.  But Mount St. Helens is not even the most dangerous volcano in the state of Washington.  If Mount Rainier were to erupt with the same force that Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, the loss of life would be far, far greater.  The following comes from Wikipedia

If Mt. Rainier were to erupt as powerfully as Mount St. Helensdid in its May 18, 1980, eruption, the effect would be cumulatively greater, because of the far more massive amounts of glacial ice locked on the volcano compared to Mount St. Helens[33] and the vastly more heavily populated areas surrounding Rainier.[38]Lahars from Rainier pose the most risk to life and property,[39] as many communities lie atop older lahar deposits. According to theUnited States Geological Survey (USGS), about 150,000 people live on top of old lahar deposits of Rainier.[8] Not only is there much ice atop the volcano, the volcano is also slowly being weakened by hydrothermal activity. According to Geoff Clayton, a geologist with a Washington State Geology firm, RH2 Engineering, a repeat of the Osceola mudflow would destroy Enumclaw,Orting,KentAuburnPuyallupSumner and all of Renton.[32] Such a mudflow might also reach down the Duwamishestuary and destroy parts of downtown Seattle, and causetsunamis in Puget Sound and Lake Washington.[40] Rainier is also capable of producing pyroclastic flows and expelling lava.

Most people don’t even know what “lahars” are, but they can be exceedingly deadly.  Just imagine a tsunami of super-heated mud that is hundreds of feet thick traveling at highway speeds.  In fact, scientists believe that Mount Rainier is capable of producing massive lahars that could move at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour

Heat from an eruption will melt ice and glaciers on the mountain and turn them into mudslides moving up to 50 mph, with the potential to be more than 400 feet deep in nearby valleys. Rainier has had a history of lahars, ranging from more than 5,600 years ago to only 500 years ago.

The largest of these debris flows – the Osceola Mudflow – occurred 5,600 years ago, covered 212 square miles of land from Rainier to Kent and was hundreds of feet deep.

The cities near Mount Rainier have early warning systems, but the truth is that once a lahar is unleashed it would be necessary to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people from the region in less than an hour.  Does anyone actually believe that would be possible?  Here is how one author described the danger that residents could potentially be facing…

The numerous towns and cities that occupy the surrounding valley would all be at risk for not only severe destruction, but complete annihilation. Residents of cities like Orting, Sumner, Buckley, and Enumclaw are estimated to have no more than 30 minutes before the lahar, speeding down from the many rivers that flow from Mount Rainier, buries their homes and businesses beneath as much as 30 feet of mud and debris. Even the larger cities like Auburn, Puyallup, and Tacoma itself are not safe.Auburn and Puyallup, with nearly 80,000 residents between them, would be covered in 20 feet of mud in less than an hour, and Tacoma, at almost 200,000, is estimated to be hit with nearly 10 feet from the lahar.

It is hard to even come up with the words to describe how horrific this would be.  It would literally be a “river of death” hundreds of feet high burying everything in its path in super-heated mud.  Once a lahar is within sight, there is no possibility of outrunning it.  The only hope would be to get to high ground in time.

If Mount Rainier were to experience a full-blown eruption today, it would likely be the worst natural disaster in U.S. history up to this point by far.  And scientists tell us that such an event is inevitable

The nature of this impending and INEVITABLE tsunami is, this isn’t just water flowing, this is giant boulders, whole houses, a million huge trees, cars, ships, people, cows, we saw this in Japan recently, all smashing along relentlessly and not ending in a minute or an hour, but going on and on and on, piling into narrow bays and pinned in by high hillsides…this makes the tsunamis WORSE, not safer!

The Puget Sound bay is not that deep.  So the resulting multiple high flood events pouring into several parts of the Puget Sound will cause a huge wave to jump ahead of the flood and the bulky mess of debris pouring in will displace more water and it will flood huge areas that are at sea level and even, like in Japan, make huge waves smashing up hillsides, wiping out everything, tearing down trees, rocks and buildings.

Once this wave of destruction hits, no one will be able to save others because it will go on and on and on for several hours at least.

Those that have studied Mount Rainier tell us that there is evidence that the mountain has produced at least 60 lahars in the past.

And according to the Seattle Times, there is a “one in seven” chance that Mount Rainier will produce another one within our lifetimes…

Chances are one in seven – worse than the odds of having a house fire – that a moderate lahar will happen in a person’s lifetime.

But these are not normal times.

Mount Rainier lies along the Ring of Fire, and right now volcanoes all along the Ring of Fire are waking up.

Mt. Hood

The image below shows Mt. Hood, as it rises gloriously above Portland, OR:



To the south, just over the border into Oregon, Mt. Hood has stood silent for a long, long time.  That silence has ended.  

Below is the image showing earthquakes beginning deep beneath Mt. Hood and to the south of it's caldera.  Those deep quakes are Magma moving, from deep inside the earth.  Take a look:


This is an interesting (if not worrisome) situation.  The quakes are all on the SOUTH side of Mt. Hood.  Those of you who recall the famous Mt. Saint Helens eruption back in 1980, will remember that it was the entire SOUTH side of that volcano which blew off.  Now, Mt. Hood is acting up . . . on its SOUTH side!

Here's how the seismographs from the PNSN recorded the earthquake activity at Mt. Hood TODAY:


And if this isn't bad enough, two additional local volcanoes have also begun showing minimal, but new, earthquake activity: Mt. Baker and Mt. Newberry!  The chart below show the number of quakes at each volcano for the past thirty days:



Scientists have made it very clear that NONE of these volcanoes is showing any signs off imminent eruption.  But those on the west coast would be very well advised to keep a sharp eye and have an pre-planned evacuation route.

If St. Helens erupts, we go this way.  If Rainier erupts, we go that way.  If Mt. Hood erupts, we go this other way..  If, (God forbid) all three erupt, we go . . . . you get the idea.

It is important to bear in mind that you are not alone in having plans to leave and much to your dire surprise, you may find all the highways jammed.  So plan alternate routes.  Have each of your cars equipped with a CB radio and magnet mount antenna so you can get on the spot traffic updates while you're on the road, and get instant info from other drivers.

Make sure your cars and your home have N-95 or N-100 filter masks to protect your lungs from deadly volcanic ash.  Volcanic ash is not really "ash" like a cigarette gives off; it is actually pulverized rock.  If it gets in your moist lungs, it becomes mud.  Your body cannot cleanse this and if you get too big a whiff, you literally drown on the mud in your lungs.  So have filter masks for yourself and each member of your family.  YOU MUST BE CLEAN-SHAVEN FOR THESE MASKS TO WORK.  They will not be effective for men with stubble or beards! 

Have waterproof goggles, even cheap swimmer goggles, for yourself and each member of your family, You need these to keep volcanic ash out of your eyes.  Again, volcanic ash is actually pulverized rock which, if it gets in your eyes, will scratch your eye lenses.  

Volcanic ash will clog car air-intake filters and stall your vehicle.  Have a spare air filter or two IN YOUR TRUNK to make certain you can change to a clean filter if your car stalls while you're evacuating.  A clean filter will get you quite a few more miles farther away.  

Have "Go bags" with some change of clothes, medicine(s) you may need to survive and some food/water to take along the way.  

Keep your car gas tank at least HALF FULL at all times; there won't be any time at all for you to stop for fuel if one of these volcanoes erupts.  

Your very life may depend on these simple acts.  Plan wisely.

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  1. Richard Stillman

    Sorry, but it was the North side of Mt St Helen's that blew, destroying Spirit Lake in the process. I live in Vancouver WA, which lies between the Mountain and Portland. I was 5 when it erupted.

    1. Eric

      Absolutely correct my friend. Their fact checkers must have been on vacation that day. Lol

    2. Larry Hurrle

      Thank you, Mr. Stillman. I appreciate you setting the record straight and quelling some of this doomsday talk. While these volcanoes are dangerous, quickly trying to raise worries is not the way to get the word out. 

  2. oldgranolagirl

    Oops!  You forgot the map that shows where the quakes are occuring on Mt. St. Helens.

  3. Robert Brett

    Very good premise… that we need to be prepared now for a major eruption yet I am troubled that the first image, in this article, from the PNSN” is not Mt St Helens rather Mt Hood and…
    that they report that the Mt. Saint Helens eruption in 1980, was the entire SOUTH side of that volcano which blew off rather it was the NORTH side:

    And neither (the source of this article) or ID the author of this article.

    Bob Brett
    Olympia, WA

  4. Geoff

    "ALL the volcanoes"… well they forgot Mt. Adams and Mt. Baker. Mt. Adams is just east of Mount St. Helens. And Mt. Baker is east of Bellingham, Washington, about 80 miles north of Seattle.

    Portland is NOT in the destruction zone of St. Helens or Mt. Hood. With prevailing winds generally coming off the ocean to the west, most ash will flow North, Northeast, East, Southeast, even South. Only during certain times of the year, and that not so frequently does the wind come from the East. Portland will witness these spectaculars, but not suffer the ash clouds unless the winds happen to be blowing into the west.

    Mt. Rainier could effect areas close to Seattle. But generally, for the same reason, most ash will flow away from Seattle in general. There are times, though, that the winds could favour ash falling on Seattle, as back in 1980 some ash from St. Helens did find its way north to Seattle, due to the seasonal southerly winds.

    The eruption of these mountains will inevitably be a boon to farmers, as the ash will bring nutrients to the growing fields of Eastern Washington and Oregon, and by extension, even into the Midwestern fields.

    But I guess the caldron we should be most concerned with is Yellowstone, given what we've been learning over the last half century about volcanic activities around the world.


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