COUGAR, Wash. -- On May 18, 1980 a powerful volcanic eruption at Mt. St. Helens devastated the volcano's surrounding area, wiping out entire forests and sterilizing the land with heat and noxious gases. Volcanic ash covered the ground in depths up to 30 feet, and nearly every living creature within the blast zone perished.
But satellite photos released by NASA reveal a remarkable regrowth in the 33 years since the mountain erupted.
A photo from June 17, 1984 shows the barren landscape in the first month after the eruption.
A photo of the exact same area taken on August 20, 2013 shows a dramatic resurgence of life in the blast zone.
The eruption blew down or burned more than 230 square miles of forest.
Damage extended as far away as 17 miles from the summit of Mt. St. Helens.
The US Forest Service estimates that about 4.7 billion board feet of timber was lost as a result of the eruption. The Forest Service has planted nearly 10 million trees over 14,000 acres.
Read More: Life Reclaims Mount St. Helens (NASA)
Time Lapse Photos: 1980 Eruption of Mount St. Helens