Evacuation authorized at Navy’s China Lake following second quake

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake's color guard presents the colors during the national anthem at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division change of command ceremony April 19, 2019 in China Lake, California.


By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 5, 2019

The evacuation of non-mission essential active-duty military, reservists, civilian employees and authorized dependents from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif., was authorized by Navy Region Southwest following three major earthquakes in two days, according to base social media accounts.

The southern California base experienced a 5.0 magnitude earthquake at 8:16 p.m., Friday followed by a 7.1 magnitude temblor three minutes later as well as multiple aftershocks, according to a post on the base Facebook page. 

China Lake was already closed since a 6.4 magnitude earthquake and numerous aftershocks rocked the area Thursday.

“NAWS China Lake is not mission capable until further notice; however, security protocols remain in effect,” the post said.

The base is located 150 miles north of Los Angeles and just northeast of Ridgecrest, the epicenter of Thursday’s quake. The most recent quake on Friday was centered on the Naval base, according to maps of the U.S. Geological Survey.

No casualties or injuries were reported, and all buildings were intact following Thursday’s earthquake. Information regarding injuries or the state of the installation after Friday’s quake was unavailable.

Those evacuating are asked to travel to locations in a 100-mile radius from Naval Base Ventura County, located about three hours southwest of China Lake.

A Family Information Call Center number has been established for questions regarding how to obtain support and can be reached at 1-844-523-2025.

Access to China Lake remains mission essential personnel only.

China Lake supports the Navy's research, testing and evaluation missions and is home to Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, two air test and evaluation squadrons and a Marine Aviation Detachment, among other units.

Twitter: @Rose_Lori


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