On 27 March 1980, Mt. St. Helens erupted. Named by English explorer George Vancouver, the volcano had been dormant since 1857. A series of crises followed the initial steam eruption in March. On 18 May, an earthquake shook the area around Mt. St. Helens. The quake registered at 5.1 on the Richter scale. Mudflows, landslides, and floods all soon followed. The volcano also erupted again that same day, sending gas and ash approximately 16 miles into the air. Parts of Washington state were completely blacked out from the volcano’s debris. During the May 18 event, a total of 57 people died.
Richert, Lucas Paul. "Mount St. Helens erupts". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 October 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=3706, accessed 23 May 2013.]