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May 19
1986: South African raids wreck peace bid
[ 2009-05-19 09:22 ]

May 19
As Mount St Helens erupted it threw up tons of ash 15 miles high turning day into night
1980: Nine dead after Mount St Helens eruption

England have

At least nine people have died after the massive eruption of Mount St Helens volcano in Washington State, USA.

Many more are missing and the death toll is expected to rise.

A huge cloud of ash has turned day into night for towns and cities across north-western America. People have been told to stay indoors and wear gauze masks. Many roads have been closed, trains halted and aircraft grounded.

Mount St Helens exploded at 0832 local time on 18 May.

Avalanches of hot ash

It triggered an earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale and the north face of the mountain collapsed in a massiveavalanche.

At the same time a giant mushroom-shaped cloud of ash rose 15 miles (24km) into the sky in just 15 minutes. Then avalanches of hot ash, pumice and gas known aspyroclasticflows poured out of the crater.

Westerly winds have blown millions of tons of ash across the United States turning blue skies grey as far as Spokane, Washington - 250 miles (400km) away.

Nearly 150 square miles (240 sq km) of forest has been destroyed and it is believed thousands of wild animals have been killed.

One of those who died was local celebrity 84-year-old Harry Truman. The former president's namesake had consistently refused to leave his motel at the foot of the mountain beside Spirit Lake.

He stayed with his 16 cats and 18 racoons while about 2,000 people were evacuated from the area in the last few weeks as the mountain threatened to blow.

The lake has been wiped out by the massive force of the eruption along with boiling mud flows triggered by mountain snow that melted in the intense heat.

Dr Bob Christiansen of the US Geological Survey who predicted the huge eruption said another major blast was unlikely.

May 19
Zambia's President Kenneth Kaunda condemned "cowardly action"

1986: South African raids wreck peace bid

Artificially 1969:
The South African troops have launched raids on three neighbouring countries in an effort to destroy basespurportedlyused by the guerrilla organisation, the African National Congress (ANC).

At least three people are reported dead after this morning's co-ordinated attacks on cities in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana by South African warplanes, helicopters and commandos.

The raids have severely jeopardised diplomatic efforts by a Commonwealth mission now in South Africa.

The Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group had been trying to negotiate a peaceful settlement with South Africa's ruling National Party and Prime Minister PW Botha to bring an end to national strife caused by the apartheid regime.

Five of the seven delegates have already left Cape Town in protest.

Call for sanctions

Along with Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania, the three nations attacked today form the so-called "frontline states" that support the ANC in their struggle against white minority rule. But all three deny providing the ANC with military bases.

There has been widespread condemnation of South Africa in the West and across Southern Africa.

Zambia's President Kenneth Kaunda called the raids a "dastardly, cowardly action". The government of Botswana issued a statement condemning "this naked act of aggression against our country".

And the Commonwealth Secretary General Sir Shridath Ramphal called the move "a declaration of war" and demanded immediate economic sanctions against South Africa.

But the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Foreign Secretary, Sir Geoffrey Howe, while condemning the attacks are ignoring calls for early sanctions against Pretoria.

News of the raids - on Gaborone in Botswana, Zimbabwe's capital, Harare and Lusaka in Zambia - came in an announcement by the head of the South African Army, Lieutenant General AJ Liebenberg.

"The action taken against the terrorists should be interpreted as indicative of the firm resolve of the Republic of South Africa to use all the means at its disposal against terrorists wherever they may be," he said.


avalanche:a fall or slide of a large mass, as of snow or rock, down a mountainside(雪崩,山崩)



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