Seattle is so fixated on our looming major earthquakes that it can be easy to overlook the major drawback of life along the Cascadia subduction zone: volcanoes.
The latest volcano threat assessment from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has some sobering news for Washington State: We have two out of the three highest-threat volcanoes in the country, with Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens behind only Hawaii’s Kīlauea—which has been venting since a major 1983 eruption but had a major event earlier this year.
Our last eruption was Mount St. Helens in 1980, so it’s usually at the forefront of our volcano awareness—and we sometimes forget that some of our most beloved landmarks like Mount Rainier and Mount Baker are also, in fact, volcanoes that can erupt. Fortunately, the Seattle Times reported, our volcanoes are “cold” enough that we should have plenty of warning to get out of their way, and the USGS carefully monitors all of them. But it doesn’t make our sheer concentration of very-high-threat volcanoes any less jarring.
We’ve mapped out our most dangerous volcanoes, according to the latest assessment, because it turns out the Cascades are kind of a nightmare.Read More