The Labor Day weekend near Mount Shasta received its fair share of shake-ups after five earthquakes were recorded on Sunday and Monday, giving locals residents cause for concern while living next to an active volcano.
At 3:03 pm on Sunday afternoon, the first earthquake hit between the town of McCloud and Mount Shasta, recorded at 2.2 miles underground with a magnitude of 2.1. Another one followed at 9:21 pm that evening at a nearby location, with a magnitude of 1.8.
Then at 10:34 am on Monday, the largest of the earthquakes hit, coming in at 2.7 magnitude. The following 30 minutes afterwards, 1.7 and 1.9 magnitude earthquakes were also recorded.
The feeling of an earthquake near the mountain left locals a little unsettled, bringing in the always troubling feeling that Mount Shasta, one of the most dangerous volcanos in America, could erupt. Of course, earthquakes tend to be precursors to volcanic eruptions.
Scientists have been warning locals of the possibility of an eruption for some time now. National Geographic released an article highlighting the ten most dangerous volcanoes in America – Lassen Peak, Mt. Shasta, Crater Lake and South Sister Volcano in Oregon were all listed. They were deemed a “volatile cluster.”
In 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey released its list of the most hazardous volcanoes in the country, with Mount Shasta ranking fifth out of the list’s 18 “very high threat volcanoes.”
“It has had young eruptions by geologic standards, and we know there is magma in its plumbing system,” Jessica Ball, a volcanologist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s California Volcano Observatory, said to Scientific American.
Mount Shasta is a particularly dangerous threat due to its proximity to thousands of homes, including Yreka, Weed, Mt. Shasta City, McCloud and Dunsmuir. Heres how National Geographic described the mountain:
MOUNT SHASTA VOLCANO, CALIFORNIA
Around Mount Shasta an eruption’s pyroclastic flow—rapid currents of superheated gas, ash, and rock caused by a volcanic explosion—as well as ash-infused mudflows could put towns and infrastructure in harm’s way.
The last reported eruption was seen from the Pacific Ocean in 1786 and may not have “been such a big deal,” the Cascades Volcano Observatory’s Scott. “We haven’t had [an eruption] since settlement by European settlers, but in the geologic sense the volcano has been quite frequently active.”