The Economic Effects of the 1980 Eruption of Mount St. Helens on Local Citizens

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The Economic Effects of the 1980 Eruption of Mount St. Helens on Local Citizens On May 18, 1980, the eruption of Mount St. Helens in southwest Washington resulted in the death of 57 people and countless animals, damage to human settlements and facilities, and the accumulation of thick ash and chemical substances. In addition to social and environmental effects, economic effects would harm local citizens’ lives within next several months. This paper will present three economic effects of the eruption and demonstrate how they affected local citizens’ lives. Three economic effects were loss of tourism dollars, disruption of import, and decline of local agriculture markets. The first effect was tourism loss. The travel-related industry is the largest employer in Washington (Kreck qtd. in When Mt. St. Helens Blew Its Top 17). Unfortunately, after the eruption, the number of tourists decreased, which caused loss of tourism dollars. Because of loss of tourism dollars, the income of the local government decreased. As a result, the local government reduced some urban construction and the social welfare to uncover its loss. Because of the lack of urban construction and the shortage of welfare fund, the standard of lives of local citizens became lower than they had expected it would. Some low-income local citizens were unable to maintain their families. The second effect was the disruption of import. The ashfall generated from volcanic activity is a great threat to the whole transportation system, especially to airports. Ashfall can result in the loss of visibility, disruption of communication systems, and damage to buildings and airplanes. The eruption of Mt. St. Helens caused airport in Washington State to be closed for 15 days (Guffanti et al. 292). The closure of airports caused disruption, that is, many advanced elements of...
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