Naval weapons base near quakes' epicenter closed for safety inspections

As Southern California dealt with the impact of Friday evening’s magnitude-7.1 earthquake, an important U.S. Navy facility near the quake’s epicenter was still dealing with the impact of Thursday’s 6.4 temblor in the area.

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake was closed Friday as officials assessed infrastructure damage from the earlier quake, Stars & Stripes reported.

The base is located just northwest of Ridgecrest, the quake epicenter that is about 150 miles northeast of Los Angeles. The city in Kern County has about 29,000 residents.

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No casualties or injuries were reported at the base after Thursday’s quake, the base posted Friday on its Facebook page. But there was no immediate information about whether Friday evening’s quake had caused any damage.

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, in Ridgecrest, Calif. (Facebook)

Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, in Ridgecrest, Calif. (Facebook)

A team composed of personnel from the U.S. Geological Survey and the California Geological Survey was conducting inspections of the base’s buildings and other infrastructure, the post said.

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The shutdown of the base was expected to continue until 5 a.m. Monday, but whether Friday’s quake would extend that closure was not immediately known.

The base supports Navy research, testing and evaluation operations, according to Stars & Stripes.