Southern California

Emergency Evacuation Alert on TV in Los Angeles Was an Error

The emergency alert sounded on TVs in Ventura County and beyond, urging residents to evacuate as a large fire burned in the northwestern part of Los Angeles County.

A frightening emergency alert urging residents to evacuate immediately accompanied by the blaring emergency alert system sound was apparently accidentally broadcast on televisions in the Ventura and Los Angeles areas Wednesday, authorities said.

The Ventura County Sheriff took to Twitter to clear up the confusion.

The alarming message took over TV screens as the Route Fire raged in Castaic, forcing evacuations and freeways closures.

The emergency alert made in error also went out in Spanish.

It wasn't clear how many viewers saw the emergency alert at around 5 p.m. PST.

The alert appeared on KNBC and KVEA.

It isn't the first time a frightening alert has gone out in error.

In May 2022, a public safety alert out of Glendale urged Los Angeles residents across the region to evacuate. It turned out to be a drill.

In 2018, a false missile alert in Hawaii caused a panic, sending Hawaiian residents scrambling to find shelter.

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