The park is home to the fearsome Yellowstone volcano – a super volcano named for its ability to cause global destruction in the event of an eruption. Located underneath the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, the area is constantly monitored by the USGS for signs that such an eruption was taking place. However, geologists were caught off guard on the evening of August 17, 1959, during the Lake Hebgen earthquake that would inevitably create a new lake on the Madison River after a landslide.
The massive 7.3 Richter earthquake killed 28 people and caused more than £ 9 million in damage (today £ 200 million), and the stories of the survivors are nothing short of staggering.
Historian Larry Morris recalls the fascinating minute-by-minute story of the 1959 book Yellowstone Earthquake Disaster.
Details of an account, he wrote: “Air Force Police Officer Victor James said: ‘I heard a terrible rumbling and looked up.
“’I see a crumbling mountain. It’s too bad.
“I saw a lot of fighting in World War 2, but I have never heard such a roar.”
According to the text, another survivor said: “Roaring like doomsday.”
Mr. Morris went on to elaborate on how one of the campers escaped death.
He added: “Camping in Montana’s Madison River Canyon, Irene and Purley (Pub) Bennett and their four children settled just a few hours before, looking up at the full Moon as they were sinking in. sleep.
“Then Irene and Pud woke up with an ‘incredible rumbling sound’.
READ MORE: ‘The ground could explode at any moment’ How the giant Yellowstone earthquake put USGS on alert
Their tent was half buried, but her husband, Ray promptly grabbed the hand of Steve’s son and rescued him.
A trained nurse, Ms. Greene said in 2009: “I am the luckiest person there.
“I’m busy, I don’t have to worry about what happened or what will happen.”
After only three weeks the damned river created a lake more than 50 meters deep which is now five miles long and a third of a mile wide.
Jack Epstein, a prominent USGS geologist was working as a field assistant in Montana when the quake struck and he was immediately put on alert to investigate.
As fate happened, his team’s campsite was basically epicenter, on a hill overlooking Lake Hebgen.
His mapping project was postponed temporarily, and Mr. Epstein spent the next few weeks escorting various groups of geologists around the area.
Despite the cost of humans, Earth’s processes are shown in an unprecedented way, and the team has to make use of it.
“It was a great opportunity for a new geologist to begin,” he said in 2008.
Today, tourists to the area can be prevented by the Lake Visitor Center earthquake, located 27 miles north of West Yellowstone to relive the horrors from more than half a century ago.
‘Yellowstone earthquake disaster 1959’ was published by The History Press in 2016 and can be purchased here.