Geologists Worry About Dangers of Living ‘Under the Volcano’

The experts believe Mount Rainier will give plenty of notice before it erupts again—the problem is that it can kill in other ways

Volcanologists don't expect "The Mountain" to explode like Mount St. Helens anytime soon. But sooner or later the heating and chemical alteration of the rock that is going on at the top will cause catastrophic debris slides called lahars--with little or no warning. In the geologic past these flows have covered places where hundreds of thousands of people now live. Geologists are working overtime to assess the risks and develop warning systems for the local populace.

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