Did you feel it? A 5.1 magnitude earthquake shakes North Carolina and the Southeast

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Photo: Beautiful azaleas blooming in mountains. Green hills, meadows, and sky in the background. Summer mountain landscape. Near Asheville, Blue Ridge Mountains, North Carolina, USA. Courtesy of Getty Images by MargaretW

Did you feel it? A 5.1 magnitude earthquake shakes North Carolina and the Southeast

If you felt the ground move under your feet Sunday morning you weren’t imagining things. A 5.1 magnitude earthquake, its epicenter in Sparta, N.C., struck the Southeast, the effects of which could be felt up to 200 miles away across much of North Carolina, Upstate South Carolina, and as far away as Atlanta and Ashland, Kentucky.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake occurred at 8:07 a.m. It was the strongest to shake the region since 1916, when a magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck. There were no reports of serious injuries, though people near the epicenter reported minor structural damage. 

Climbing can help kill COVID. Here’s how.

Good news for all you climbers out there. A team at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus found that 80% ethanol liquid chalk killed 100% of COVID-19 within five minutes. But before you go thanking the liquid chalk in your climbing bag for its pandemic protection, it’s important to note that liquid chalks are sold with varying alcohol concentrations. “If you don’t have more than 65% isopropyl alcohol or ethanol, you’re not going to be sterilizing,” said Ross Kedl, professor of immunology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the researcher behind the study.

While the 80% ethanol liquid chalk does kill the virus, Kedl says climbers should think of it as hand sanitizer because the effects don’t last long-term. That said, “if you have a gym full of people who are wearing masks and all of them are using this chalk, your chances of getting a wall contaminated with coronavirus are pretty small,” he says. 

Mortimer Campground on Pisgah National Forest to temporarily close

Beginning today, Mortimer Campground on Pisgah National Forest will temporarily close for major construction of a bridge to replace the low water crossing of Thorps Creek, which flows through the campground, the Forest Service said in a news release. The bridge replacement will improve water quality and native and wild trout habitat in the Wilson Creek Watershed. 

Depending on construction timelines, the campground may remain closed for the rest of the season. Mortimer Campground is located northwest of Lenoir in the Wilson Creek Watershed in Caldwell County, NC.

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