Friday, December 3, 2010

The Mega-Disaster Eruption of the Mount Rainier Volcano

Above you are looking at a simulation of what a Mount Rainier volcanic eruption might look like, with a lahar of pyroclastic material, rocky debris and water racing towards Puget Sound.

Due to being so close to the Seattle-Tacoma Metropolitan Area, 14,411 foot tall Mount Rainier is the most dangerous volcano in the continental United States.

When you drive in the Puyallup zone you see Volcano Evacuation Route signs.

Using past Mount Rainier eruptions to determine what would happen when Mount Rainier erupts again, scientists project that the wall of sludge and mud flowing to Puget Sound would inundate the towns of Puyallup, Enumclaw and Kent, before it slows down and thins out as it enters Commencement Bay in Tacoma.

With the flow of mud only stopping once it reaches Elliott Bay in Seattle, 60 miles from Mount Rainier.

It is estimated that a major eruption of Mount Rainier would injure 31,000, kill 18,000, do $2 billion worth of agricultural damage, $4 billion worth of residential damage and $5 billion worth of commercial damage.

Making a Mount Rainier Eruption the worst Natural Disaster in American history.

Below is a map showing the lahar flow's projected area of coverage on its way to Tacoma's Commencement Bay.

Mount Rainier is one of what are known as the world's 16 Decade Volcanoes. Named Decade Volcanoes due to a United Nations initiated project which is part of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. The world's 16 most dangerous volcanoes were determined by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, also known as IAVCEI.
The Decades Volcanoes Project's goal is to support studies of the volcanoes, raising public awareness of the dangers posed by the volcanoes.

The History Channel  has done its part in raising public awareness of the dangers posed by Mount Rainer, by looking at what would happen if Mount Rainer erupted, in an episode of the History Channel's Mega-Disaster series. You can view part of the History Channel Mount Rainer Mega-Disaster below....

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