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How many people died when Mount Saint Helens erupted?

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As a result of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, 57 people died. Earthquakes started on March 15, gradually building into small eruptions and then culminating in the massive eruption of May 18.

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Responding to an accumulation of danger signs and warnings from the United States Geological Survey, Governor Dixy Lee Ray of Washington State declared a state of emergency around the mountain on April 3 and then later banned all unapproved visitors from entering the large red zone created around the volcano under penalty of fine or imprisonment. Despite these preventive measures, when the volcano erupted on May 18, the enormous avalanche and pyroclastic flow caught 57 people unaware. Most were asphyxiated in the flow, while a few were crushed under tons of volcanic debris.

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