Following eleven days of precursory earthquake activity, Mt. St. Helens, a volcano in Washington which has been dormant for over a century, emits a small eruption of ash and steam. Similar eruptions continue on an hourly basis, though the frequency will gradually diminsh through April. This activity lasts barely a month before ending, at least for a week or two. The north face of Mt. St. Helens begins bulging noticeably, and emergency planners fight to keep sightseers away from the mountain while drawing up evacuation plans for nearby populated areas. Some locals vow to remain despite possible evacuation orders.