The Eruption of Mount St. Helens

Eyjafjallajokull ain’t all that. Shutting down European airspace? No big deal. As we in the Northwest know, May 18, 1980 marks a special date, when Mt. St. Helens blew its top and released 520 tons of ash in a 15-mile high mushroom cloud. Over 50 people died in the eruption; rivers were blocked with timber and mudslides; highways were closed and rerouted; ash fell in Spokane and beyond; and the resulting landscape looked like the moon. All of which this half-hour IMAX movie, made in 1980, documents in big-screen mayhem. It’ a reminder of why emergency evacuation measures are in today place for sudden lahar flows. And perhaps it’ll spur a spring trip to visit the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, today surprisingly green and full of resurgent life. BRIAN MILLER

Wed., May 26, 12:30 p.m., 2010

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