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June 6, 2012 at 6:29 PM

State: Cost of a Mount Rainier lahar could reach $6 billion

The Associated Press

OLYMPIA — A new report estimates that property losses from a massive mudflow at Mount Rainier could reach $6 billion in the Puyallup Valley.

Major mudflows, known as lahars, can be caused by volcanic activity, avalanches and earthquakes. They have the consistency of wet concrete.

The report Wednesday from the Washington Department of Natural Resources shows lahar-related flooding from Mount Rainier could reach as far as Commencement Bay and Elliott Bay, including the ports of Seattle and Tacoma. The agency also released an online interactive map to track the potential paths.

The Puyallup Valley is considered highly susceptible to lahars because of the weakened rocks that make up the mountain’s upper west flank.

The agency says the report and map are designed to assist emergency response, mitigation planning and community preparation.

 

 

Comments | Topics: avalanche, Commencement Bay, earthquake

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