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California military base still closed following big quakes

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LOS ANGELES — A sprawling military base in the Southern California desert remains closed to non-essential personnel as damage assessments continue following last week’s powerful earthquakes.

Spokeswoman Margo Allen said Tuesday that teams have so far surveyed just 10% of the 1,200 facilities at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. It’s unclear when personnel and their families will be able to return.

Two strong quakes — a 6.4 and a 7.1 — struck Thursday and Friday near Ridgecrest, just outside the 1.2-million-acre base in the Mojave Desert.

Water and gas service have been restored, but engineers are making sure buildings are safe to enter. Allen says the shaking cracked walls in a chapel and school and brought down commissary shelves.

She says one person suffered a minor foot injury.

Some personnel were evacuated to the naval base in Ventura County.

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