SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The eruption of a Hawaii volcano in the Pacific “Ring of Fire” has experts warily eyeing volcanic peaks on America’s West Coast that are also part of the geologically active region.
The West Coast is home to an 800-mile (1,300-kilometer) chain of 13 volcanoes , from Washington state’s Mount Baker to California’s Lassen Peak. They include Mount St. Helens, whose spectacular 1980 eruption in the Pacific Northwest killed dozens of people and sent volcanic ash across the country, and massive Mount Rainier, which towers above the Seattle metro area.
“There’s lots of anxiety out there,” said Liz Westby, geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver, Washington, in the shadow of Mount St. Helens. “They see destruction, and people get nervous.”