In the past 400 years, volcanoes have caused 266,000 deaths. Fortunately, when Mount St. Helens erupted in the USA, few people lived at the base or downwind. In addition, at the time, Mount St. Helens was the most studied volcano in history. Researchers knew that it was going to erupt, so people were prepared for it. Mount Rainier, which is just north of Mount St. Helens, is expected to erupt sometime in the next 50 years. Should the winds take the ash and debris north and west, the city of Seattle could be severely affected.