Now, I don’t mean to make anyone lose sleep over this, because all the volcanologists of the world agree Rainier is not likely to blow up in our lifetimes. But um, er, what if it did?
Things would get pretty messed up for many miles around. That red circle on the map is measured at a 43-mile radius from the peak of Mount Rainier. And 43 miles is the greatest distance that a hot ashflow, also called a pyroclastic flow, traveled from Mount Mazama. From Mount Who, you ask?
Mount Mazama was the tall volcano that existed once where Crater Lake now lies in a hole in the ground in Southern Oregon. Seven thousand years ago, that mighty peak annihilated itself in a cataclysmic series of explosions that turned its 12,000 foot tall mass into hot, pulverized detonations of rock, ash, steam, and death that blanketed the land around it with deep piles of red-hot dust and rock.
Native Americans who witnessed the horrors of it all — and survived — have passed the legends of the event down through time to present day tribes, although they transformed the story into an epic battle between the god of the underworld and the sky god.
Someday, Rainier may blow its top in a similar way. And from that day forward the legends of the survivors will grow.
I have anticipated such tales in my new book, RAINIER ERUPTS! If you’d like a first-hand look at what that day of disaster might bring, then grab a copy by following this LINK. It’s available in ebook and paperback versions. And I promise — the horror and heroism I have described in detail will shock and amaze you.