Should you be worried about Mt. Rainier?

June 5, 2018


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With sunny and clear days allowing our gazes to drift south and fall on the PNW’s largest volcano, and with lava spewing in Hawaii, plumes of ash, death and destruction in Guatemala, more ash spewing in the Philippines, the question is worth asking, “Is Mt. Rainier Next?”

RELATED: How Ready Is Seattle for The "Big One"

Well, worth asking if you know next to nothing about geology like me (all apologies to my college GEO101 prof at WWU).

Growing up, there’s a sense that the ‘Ring of Fire,’ the chain of mountains and volcanos surrounding the Pacific Ocean including the West Coast of the United States and the dormant Rainier, is all interconnected and that one eruption anywhere on the ring could trigger another. But is that true?

With a flurry of activity, one geologist took to Twitter to dispel the notion that our giant, beautiful, terrifying mountain in the distance has any greater chance to blow now than it did at any other time in history.

If you’re like me and need some reassurance, take it from Mika.

Nerd Talk: Bad News About Lava...

Basically, just like when Mount Saint Helens erupted in 1980 and Rainier was just like, "Helen, chill," Rainier's pen pals across the ocean aren't going to make our mountain lose its cool.

Sure, there is still a completely random chance that Rainier blows its top at any time, but it’s no more or less likely than it was before these other big dumb mountains started doing their thing. The last time Rainier showed any activity was way back in 1894.

I don’t think that’s any more reassuring, but hey, who doesn’t like a surprise party?

Speaking of cataclysmic geographic events in the PNW, let’s hope The Big One doesn’t come until we’re ready.

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