Series of small quakes rattle area near Mount St. Helens

Star shows the epicenter of the earthquakes. (USGS map)

MORTON, Wash. - A series of small earthquakes rattled an area near Mount St. Helens overnight in Lewis County.

The largest of the 13 quakes was a magnitude 3.9, which struck just after 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Residents reported feeling the largest earthquake as far away as Portland, Oregon - about 70 miles to the south - and in a large area of southwest Washington.

The quakes all struck about 22 miles south-southeast of Morton, or just east of Mount St. Helens, at a depth of about six miles.

"It felt as if someone was running up behind you to grab your shoulders," tweeted Gharrett Lamping, a Lewis County Fire District 18 employee who was about about eight miles east of Morton when the biggest quake hit.

No damage or injuries were reported from the quakes.

Bill Steele, outreach director for the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, says it's fairly typical to see earthquake swarms in this area though somewhat unusual to have one with a 3.9 magnitude.

Steele said Wednesday morning that a larger quake could follow within 48 hours but there's a small probability of that happening.

He says even though the quakes have been located near Mount St. Helens, it's not caused by the magma underneath the volcano.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off