A "Base Closed" sign is posted outside the main gate to Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake on July 7, 2019 in Ridgecrest, California. NAWS China Lake is currently "not mission capable until further notice" following a series of earthquakes nearby. Non-essential personnel were authorized to evacuate the base due to infrastructure concerns. The base remains accessible only to mission essential personnel. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/TNS) *FOR USE WITH THIS STORY ONLY*

A "Base Closed" sign is posted outside the main gate to Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake on July 7, 2019 in Ridgecrest, California. NAWS China Lake is currently "not mission capable until further notice" following a series of earthquakes nearby. Non-essential personnel were authorized to evacuate the base due to infrastructure concerns. The base remains accessible only to mission essential personnel. (Mario Tama/Getty Images/TNS) *FOR USE WITH THIS STORY ONLY*

LOS ANGELES - The Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is closed after being damaged by back-to-back earthquakes around Ridgecrest.

The station has been open only to essential personnel since Thursday's magnitude 6.4 earthquake. After Friday night's 7.1 quake, the facility was evacuated, officials said.

Spokeswoman Helen Haase said the base suffered structural damage, but she could not confirm what buildings were affected.

Engineers are still assessing the structures across the station's 1.2 million acres. Weapons and ammunition were "checked and secured," she said, and personnel were evacuated to the naval base in Ventura County.

"We are not mission capable," Haase said, but added that if personnel need to go on base for an emergency, such as picking up medication, "We're not going to turn them down."

In a Facebook post, the China Lake station said the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the epicenter of the first earthquake was on two faults located on the base. A team of scientists has visited the base to study the seismological impact, according to the Facebook post.

The base restored its water and power as of Sunday. It's unclear when personnel and their families will be able to return, Haase said.

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Recommended for you

Loading...
Loading...

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.