On May 18th, 1980, thirty years ago today, at 8:32 a.m., the ground shook beneath Mount St. Helens in Washington state as a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck, setting off one of the largest landslides in recorded history - the entire north slope of the volcano slid away. As the land moved, it exposed the superheated core of the volcano setting off gigantic explosions and eruptions of steam, ash and rock debris. The blast was heard hundreds of miles away, the pressure wave flattened entire forests, the heat melted glaciers and set off destructive mudflows, and 57 people lost their lives. The erupting ash column shot up 80,000 feet into the atmosphere for over 10 hours, depositing ash across Eastern Washington and 10 other states. Collected here are photos of the volcano and its fateful 1980 eruption. The melted Dashboard of pickup truck located on ridge top about 14 km north of Mount St. Helens demonstrates the powerful heat generated by the volcanic blast. Photo taken on June 18, 1980. An aerial view of blowdown and Fawn Lake, inside the blast zone on October 28, 1980 (note Mount St. Helens in the background). Note also the USGS scientists in a small boat in the middle of the lake taking water samples. The distinctive bloom of a Fireweed, a hearty pioneer plant, is seen with Spirit Lake in the background on September 4, 1984.