In the United States, the most famous volcano to erupt in 1980 was Mount St. Helens in the state of Washington. This volcano erupted in spectacular fashion on May 18, 1980. The eruption caused a great deal of devastation in the area around the volcano. The destruction included the deaths of 57 people. Ash from the eruption rose roughly 20 miles into the atmosphere and was deposited across a broad range of the West, falling in 11 states. The victims were killed by falling ash, by heat from part of the eruption that came out laterally, and by lahars caused by the melting of the volcano’s snowcap. There were other volcanoes that erupted in this year, but Mount St. Helens was by far the most famous.
This landslide and volcanic blast -- along with pyroclastic flows -- devastated the natural area around Mount St. Helens, caused the death of at least 57 persons, and resulted property damage and cleanup costs exceeding $1.5 billion (U.S.). Ash from the eruption eventually fell and spread across 10 U.S. states. After the 1980 eruption, the elevation Mount St. Helens' summit dropped from 9,760 feet to 8,525 feet.