Mount Rainier Volcano – Creating Fear:

Mount Rainier Volcano – Creating Fear:

Briefly

  • Mount Rainier, a stratovolcano near Seattle, is worrying scientists even though it has not had a major eruption in 1,000 years.
  • The danger lies in the potential mudflows that could hit nearby areas such as Seattle and Tacoma if the volcano erupts.
  • These currents can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h and cause severe damage.

Rising 4,300 meters above sea level, Mount Rainier rises outside Seattle in Washington state. But although it may look like any other snow-capped mountain peak in pictures, Mount Rainier is a stratovolcano.

Despite the fact that it has not experienced any major volcanic eruptions in the past thousand years, the matter still worries scientists, CNN writes.

Seattle: Mount Rainier can be seen from Seattle.  Photo: Lindsey Wasson/AP/NTB

Seattle: Mount Rainier can be seen from Seattle. Photo: Lindsey Wasson/AP/NTB
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The reason for this is what would happen to the surrounding areas if a major eruption occurred.

– Mount Rainier keeps me up at night because it poses a huge threat to the communities surrounding it, Jess Phoenix, a volcanologist and ambassador for the Union of Concerned Scientists, tells the channel.

But researchers are not only afraid that the lava will reach nearby buildings, but that it will create a massive, life-threatening mudflow, also called a lahar. This could cause massive damage in South Seattle and in Tacoma, researchers reported.

emergency: On Sunday morning, a new volcanic eruption began in Iceland, and lava flows have now reached buildings in Grindavik. Reporter: Emma Dallin. Video: AP/X.
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In the book Geography: Landscape, Resources, People, Development, the authors explain the mudslide as follows:

“If the ash from the eruption mixes with water, a very dangerous slurry that looks like liquid cement is formed. When the mixture becomes liquid, it becomes unstable and accelerates up to 100 kilometers per hour down the mountain.”

Landslide: A mudslide after the eruption of Mount Kanlaon in the Philippines earlier in June.  Photo: AFP/NTB

Landslide: A mudslide after the eruption of Mount Kanlaon in the Philippines earlier in June. Photo: AFP/NTB
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Seismologist Seth Moran explains why fear of such a landslide is particularly heightened in relation to Mount Rainier.

– What makes Mount Rainier special is that the mountain is very high, and covered in ice and snow, so if any kind of eruption occurs, the heat will melt the cold, and a lot of water will start flowing down. Moran told CNN there are tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people living in areas that could potentially be affected by a major mudslide, and it could happen very quickly.

The deadliest mudslide caused by a volcano in recent times was in November 1985, when the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupted.

A few hours after the eruption began, a river of mud, rocks, lava and icy water swept through the town of Armero, killing more than 23,000 people within minutes, the channel reported.

By comparison, Mount Rainier contains more than eight times the amount of water in the form of snow and glaciers than Nevado del Ruiz did in 1985.

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Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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