China Lake, Ridgecrest, Quakes from 6.4 Thursday to 7.1 Friday

Kern County – Friday night near Ridgecrest, California was a rockin’ time…well an earthquake rockin’. Thursday’s 6.4 tremblor was nothing compared to the 7.1 quake that struck on Friday. Experts say that there is a good chance of more quakes. Fortunately, no deaths were reported, but there is infrastructure damage and injuries. Naturally the conspiracy folks are hard at it, since the epicenters of both quakes and aftershocks were on the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station.

Ridgecrest is out in the desert, about 11 miles from China Lake. But the quake was felt in Nevada and as far away as Sacramento. Friday’s 7.1 magnitude quake reportedly released 11 times more energy than Thursday’s 6.4 quake. Gas lines ruptured, causing fires, roads cracked (State highway 178 is closed), food crashed to the floor from grocery store shelves, and pools sloshed. California Governor Gavin Newsom reportedly reached out to President Trump for emergency designation (sure, only when you need him, right?).

Screenshot via ABC7
Screenshot via Twitter

China Lake closed with Mission Essential Personnel only allowed inside. The USGS confirmed that the epicenter was actually on the property of the Naval station. A mass text message sent told personnel to evacuate the facility. A message on Facebook said that the facility was not “mission capable” at this time, and authorized nonessential personnel to evacuate to Naval Base Ventura county until Monday. No deaths were reported.

China Lake is the United States Navy’s largest single landholding, representing 85% of the Navy’s land for weapons and armaments research, development, acquisition, testing and evaluation use and 38% of the Navy’s land holdings worldwide. In total, its two ranges and main site cover more than 1,100,000 acres, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island. The roughly $3 billion infrastructure of the installation consists of 2,132 buildings and facilities, 329 miles of paved roads, and 1,801 miles of unpaved roads.

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There are reportedly two fault lines running under the China Lake NAWS, and experts say they appear to be growing. There is about a 4% chance of another quake along those faults. A 5.0 quake hit about 3 minutes before the 7.1 quake on Friday.

China Lake officials noted:

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has confirmed that the epicenter of the series of recent, local quakes was on two faults that are located aboard Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. There is currently a team from USGS and California Geological Survey on the Installation studying the event.

At this time, NAWS China Lake continues to assess infrastructure damage; with no casualties or injures reported.

The only authorized access to NAWS China Lake continues to be Mission Essential Personnel (as identified in the MEP program) and Installation housing residents and this restriction will continue through 5 a.m. Monday, July 8.

Mission Essential personnel should continue to use caution when accessing buildings.

China Lake Facebook

Featured photo screenshot via Twitter