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Mount St. Helens in the Cascade Range of Washington, U.S.A.
USGS

Mount St. Helens Is Waking Up!
News story originally written on October 5, 2004

Mount St. Helens, a volcano on the west coast of the United States, has been quiet for 18 years. But in the last week it has not been quiet at all! It has been puffing steam and ash and a flow of lava may be on the way.

On September 29th, 2004 a large number of small earthquakes in the area warned scientists that the volcano was changing. Two days later, researchers flying over the volcano noticed a bulge at the top and large cracks along the surface. Later that day steam and ash poured from the area with the cracks for almost half an hour. On Monday the volcano puffed more steam and ash.

Scientists say that a larger eruption is likely. Clues suggest that hot magma was probably not racing toward the volcano's surface on Friday when the ash was released into the air. However, scientists continue searching for clues to whether magma is on its way!

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