On May 18, 1980, Mount St Helens erupted in the US state of Washington. The blast, which measured 5 on the Volcanic Explosively Index, has been declared as the most disastrous volcanic eruption in modern US history. A huge column rose 80,000 feet into the atmosphere and deposited ash in 11 states, killing at least 57 people and causing more than $1billion (£770million) in damage.
Since 1980, the area around the volcano has experienced tens of thousands of small earthquakes and numerous minor eruptions. Most notably, as of 2004, the volcano has been continuously erupting lava, which has created a large dome that is still growing.