The Associated Press (April 3, 2009)
"ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard is planning to move some of the millions of gallons of oil stored in two tanks near an Alaska volcano that has had 18 major eruptions in the last two weeks but has been relatively quiet in recent days.
"Mount Redoubt began erupting on March 22. Since then, the volcano 100 miles southwest of Anchorage has produced numerous large explosions that have sent mud and rock cascading down its flanks. Some of that mud and debris has reached the Drift River Terminal, 22 miles away.
"That has led to concerns that the terminal, where more than 6 million gallons of oil is stored in two tanks, could be damaged and cause a catastrophic oil spill that would damage Cook Inlet's valuable fisheries...."
Those 22 miles must have seemed like a great distance, when the Drift River Terminal was built. Of course, Mount Redoubt wasn't erupting then. The fact is, people don't, generally, plan years, decades, or centuries ahead when building things.
Take Tacoma, Washington, for example: It's only about twice as far away from Mount Rainier as the Drift River Terminal is from Mount Redoubt. Mount Rainier hasn't erupted since 1882: and probably won't this year, or the next. On the other hand, an eruption at the wrong time of year could be rather unpleasant. A whole lot of snow can accumulate on the slopes - you get the idea.
Drift River Terminal: DRFA2 and Related Facilities
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Mount Rainier and Tacoma, Washington
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