Series of small quakes rattle area near Mount St. Helens - KPTV - FOX 12

Series of small quakes rattle area near Mount St. Helens

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MT. ST. HELENS, WA (KPTV) -

Two small earthquakes around Mount St. Helens in Washington state startled residents as far away as Portland and Seattle overnight.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network says a 3.9 magnitude quake hit around 12:38 a.m. Wednesday. Dozens of people throughout the region reported feeling it.

It was followed minutes later by a 2.7 magnitude temblor. Dozens of smaller aftershocks have been hitting since then.

The seismic network outreach director, Bill Steele, 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.

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

Mount St. Helens is best known for a spectacular eruption in 1980 that coated the region in ash and blew off the mountain's peak.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

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