Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake not mission-capable after Ridgecrest earthquakes

RIDGECREST, Calif. -- The series of earthquakes that struck Southern California rendered Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake not mission-capable.

In a post to the base's Facebook page, Rear Admiral Bette Bolivar said non-essential active duty, drilling reservists, civilian employees and dependents are authorized to evacuate to a radius of within 100 miles of "safe haven" Naval Base Ventura County, near Point Mugu.

A base official told ABC News that the evacuation was not weapons-related; it was ordered due to infrastructure concerns in areas where employees live and work. The official said the public should not be concerned by the evacuation.

China Lake remains accessible for mission-essential personnel only, and officials told non-mission-essential personnel not to attempt to access the installation.

Though the base is not mission-capable, security protocols remain in effect. Those with questions can call the base's family information hotline at 1-844-523-2025.

Friday's 7.1-magnitude quake struck at 8:19 p.m. Friday and was centered 11 miles from Ridgecrest, the same area of the Mojave Desert where a 6.4-magnitude temblor hit just a day earlier.

The installation "provides and maintains land, facilities and other assets that support the Navy's research, development, acquisition, testing and evaluation (RDAT&E) of cutting-edge weapons systems for the warfighter," according to the Navy. Covering more than 1.1 million acres, it is the Navy's largest single landholding.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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