After Earthquakes, California's Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake Evacuates Non-essential Employees

The epicenters of the 7.1 magnitude quake on Friday and the magnitude 6.4 quake on Thursday were on the base, which is the size of Rhode Island

A sign reading "Base Closed" is parked outside the entrance to China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station after an earthquake near Ridgecrest, California, U.S. July 6, 2019
REUTERS/Gene Blevins

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake says it authorized evacuations for non-essential employees and their dependents while officials continue to assess earthquake damage to the huge military installation in Southern California.

The epicenters of the 7.1 magnitude quake on Friday and the magnitude 6.4 quake on Thursday were on the base, which is the size of Rhode Island. No injuries were reported.

Access to the base was restricted to mission-essential personnel until Monday morning.

Officials said most employees live off the base, but they authorized the evacuation so those who live on base can be eligible for reimbursements.

The installation in the Mojave Desert is the Navy’s largest single landholding.