Volcanic and Seismic Threats to Northwest U. S.

"The effects of an eruption of Mt. Rainier, the severe effects, would be much smaller than the effects of the potential 9 Richter earthquake that can happen off the Pacific northwest. That earthquake will affect areas from northern California to southern British Columbia."

­ William Scott, Ph. D., USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory

Moderately active volcano, Mount Rainier, looms in the background of Tacoma, Washington, population 194,000. Its last major eruption was 500 years ago. Photograph by Lyn Topinka, U. S. Geological Survey.
Moderately active volcano, Mount Rainier, looms in the background of Tacoma, Washington, population 194,000. Its last major eruption was 500 years ago. Photograph by Lyn Topinka, U. S. Geological Survey.
Mt. Rainier is near center of map between Olympia and Tacoma, Washington.
Mt. Rainier is near center of map between Olympia and Tacoma, Washington.

August 29, 2003 Vancouver, Washington - Along the northwest coast of the United States and southern British Columbia, Canada, there is a volcanic range called the Cascades. There are thirteen Cascades volcanoes which have been intermittently active for hundreds of thousands of years ­ the latest being Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980. Another moderately active volcano is Mt. Rainier near Olympia and Tacoma, Washington and could directly affect the lives of more than a hundred thousand people who now live on or near the lower slopes of the mountain.

 

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