Forty earthquakes occurred around Mount St. Helens in the first three days of the year, with the most powerful a magnitude 3.9 that occurred about 5 miles from Mount St. Helens and 23 miles from the town of Morton.
The 3.9 magnitude earthquake was felt in Portland and Seattle but there were no reported injuries or damage. Since then there were further earthquakes, averaging about every half hour with magnitudes from 0.6 to 2.6. The 3.9-magnitude temblor is the second-largest in the immediate area of Mount St. Helens since 1981.
It is common to experience numbers of earthquakes at Mount St. Helens. The recent earthquakes appear to be both from regional tectonic stress (i.e. not related to the volcano) and from the volcano itself. In both cases, this is not a sign of an impending eruption, the earthquakes are a result of an active volcanic system and movement along regional stress fields.