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U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Weapon Station China Lake evacuated after earthquake

U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Weapon Station China Lake evacuated after earthquake

on July 6, 2019, following earthquakes up to 7.1 magnitudes in the Ridgecrest area, Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar, Commander Navy Region Southwest, has issued an evacuation order for Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

The facility has been declared not mission capable until further notice and is open only for mission essential personnel, while damage to the infrastructures is being assessed.

“Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is responding to a 5.0 magnitude earthquake at 8:16 p.m., and a 7.1 magnitude earthquake at 8:19 p.m. Pacific time and multiple, consistent aftershocks on July 5 following a 6.4 magnitude earthquake and numerous aftershocks on July 4,” the message says.

“NAWS China Lake is not mission capable until further notice; however, security protocols remain in effect. Safety of personnel is currently the highest priority.”

The California National Guard was sending 200 troops, logistical support and aircraft, Maj. Gen. David Baldwin said. The Pentagon had been notified, and the entire California Military Department was put on alert, he said.

UPDATE (w/images): Major (Mw 7.1) quake occurred 17 km NNE of Ridgecrest, CA on China Lake Naval Air Center at 8:19pm…

Posted by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on Saturday, July 6, 2019

Accordingly, the commander of Navy Region Southwest has authorized non-essential active-duty service members, drilling reservists, civilian employees, and military dependents to evacuate to Naval Base Ventura County, California, the message says.

Base personnel who are evacuating can receive more information by calling a Family Information Call Center at 1-844-523-2025.

“NAWS China Lake access remains Mission Essential Personnel only,” the Facebook message says. “Do NOT attempt to access the Installation unless you are Mission Essential Personnel.”

At this time there aren’t more details about the amount of damage occurred to China Lake. According to the Washington Post, “the earthquake caused multiple structure fires, thousands of power outages, road ruptures and water and gas leaks” but luckily no casualties have been reported. California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency due to “widespread and significant damage”.

As stated in a Facebook post in the official NAWS China Lake page, “NAWS China Lake is not mission capable until further notice; however, security protocols remain in effect. Safety of personnel is currently the highest priority. NON ESSENTIAL active duty, drilling reservists, civilian employees, and dependents are authorized to evacuate to a radius of 100 miles from safe haven Naval Base Ventura County (NVBC).”

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is responding to a 5.0 magnitude earthquake at 8:16 p.m., and a 7.1 magnitude…

Posted by Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake on Saturday, July 6, 2019

Newsom estimated more than $100 million in economic damage and said President Donald Trump called him to offer federal support in the rebuilding effort.

Located in the Mojave Desert about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, the sprawling installation covers more than 1.1 million acres, which is larger than the state of Rhode Island, according to the base’s website. The installation contains 85 percent of the land that the Navy uses for the research, development, acquisition, testing, and evaluation of weapons systems.

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