Essay by Kgirl11531967Junior High, 9th gradeA-, July 2005

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The Eruption of Mount Saint Helens

One day in October 1857, the people of Carson, Washington, saw something very unusual. They watched Mount St. Helens come to life as ash and steam come out of it. It killed 57 people and covered miles with ash. It had been dormant until May 18, 1980 when it exploded in one of the most violent eruptions ever recorded in North America. A severe earthquake earlier that day opened a crack along the mountain's north side. It caused the rock to fall, which was followed by a blast of steam, rock and magma. The magma flow destroyed surrounding forests and carried debris as far as 17 miles away. An explosive steam eruption on March 27, 1980, followed the first one. Mount St. Helens is one of the world's 1,500 active volcanoes.

The Tsunami in Indonesia

On Dec. 26, 2004, at 7:59 AM local time, an undersea earthquake of 9.0

struck the coast of the island of Sumatra. Over the next seven hours, a tsunami--a series of enormous ocean waves--caused by the earthquake stretched across the Indian Ocean, devastating coastal areas as far away as East Africa. Some locations reported that the waves had reached 30ft or more when they hit the shoreline. At least 225,000 people were killed across a dozen countries, with Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Maldives, and Thailand sustaining massive damage.

The Formation of Hawaii

Millions of years ago fiery rock erupted through a crack in the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Gradually the lava cooled and formed great undersea mountains whose tops stuck out from the ocean. Over the centuries of wind, water, fire, and ice on the chain of peaks, created the islands that became the state of Hawaii--a land of exotic flowers, unique black sand beaches, tremendous agriculture and...