She is the icon of the pacific NW. Her Native American name is Tahoma. Legends speak of a sleeping giant in her. While most think of her as majestic and beautiful, she has a secret. She is part of the Cascade Mountain Range and the Ring of Fire.
Her last major eruption was in 1894. She has made many lahars. The lahars are the mud flows that come down the sides of volcanos when the heat from the eruption comes through.
There are cities that are now sitting on the lahar deposits. Those cities include Orting, Puyallup, Kent and parts of the city of Tacoma. The last major lahar that came through the area didn’t stop until it reached Puget Sound.
While her sister Mt. St. Helens blew in 1980, Mt. Rainier is much closer to the major cities. The people that now live in the Seattle are don’t realize that she is waiting and sleeping. What will happen to them when she decides to let go?
The people should be ready. Orting which sits on the side of Mt. Rainier has less than 40 minutes to evacuate. To give those people as much warning as possible the USGS has come up with several things that can help give the alert.
We see these icons and they need to be respected, we need to learn their history and their personality.