Emergency alert telling LA residents, ‘Eastern North Pacific Ocean’ to evacuate immediately sent by mistake

An immediate evacuation alert that was broadcast Wednesday evening on Los Angeles-area TV turned out to be a false alarm.

The timing of the erroneous Emergency Alert System notice wasn’t the best because it had the potential to heighten anxiety in California where, unfortunately, the state is dealing with another round of raging wildfires that have consumed 4,000-plus acres so far, and which have prompted evacuations, including of a mandatory nature.

The cryptic and redundant warning to flee Los Angeles County and, oddly, “Eastern North Pacific Ocean,” and other locations, came at about 6 p.m. local time, and was a glitch of some sort.

“[T] he L.A. County’s Office of Emergency Management told Fox News Digital the message was ‘properly formatted’ and should not have ‘triggered an EAS evacuation’ but it didn’t have an immediate answer for the ‘root causes’ of the incident,” Fox News reported.

What formatting has to do with this snafu is perhaps anyone’s guess.

The Emergency Management agency’s statement also indicated, among other things, that “the alert was ‘properly formatted for dissemination via Weather radio’ in the target area through ‘close coordination’ between the county and [the National Weather Service] and ‘worked as advertised.'”

According to Deadline Hollywood, “The Emergency Broadcast warning was short on details for viewers, and quickly flipped through four screens, making it difficult to determine the specific warning.”

A few hours after the message mistake, the Ventura County Sheriff took to Twitter to explain that “the evacuation notice that was received by some Ventura County Residents on television was sent in error by the County of Los Angeles. There is no threat to Ventura County at this time and no need for residents to evacuate.”

“The false alarm came as a series of wildfires erupted in California Wednesday, prompting a number of localized evacuations in northwestern Los Angeles County,” Bloomberg noted.

For some, this incident was reminiscent of the panic-inducing incident a few years ago “in which the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent out a false alert to cell phones in the state that said: ‘Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill,'” Fox News recalled.

Going way back, it perhaps also might evoke the memory of the 1938 “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast. The dramatization narrated by Orson Welles purportedly led to a panic among some listeners who thought an invasion from outer space was actually underway.

Although NBC News said it was unclear how many viewers saw the ominous ‘escape from L.A.’ bulletin, it did provoke a response on Twitter. Here is just a brief sampling:

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