An emergency alert that appeared on television on Wednesday telling residents about an “immediate evacuation notice” for Los Angeles and other areas was broadcast in error, authorities said.
Confused residents took to Twitter to share screenshots of the message that interrupted programming.
“Emergency Alert System. A civil authority has issued an IMMEDIATE EVACUATION NOTICE for the following counties or areas,” the message said.
The list included Los Angeles and Ventura, California, as well as Eastern North Pacific Ocean, and Port Conception to Guadalupe Island.
It was not clear how many people received the alert. But the Ventura Country Sheriff’s Office later wrote on Twitter that it had been sent in error.
“The evacuation notice that was received by some Ventura County Residents on television was sent in error by the County of Los Angeles,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “There is no threat to Ventura County at this time and no need for residents to evacuate.”
The erroneous alert came as wildfires erupted in California on Wednesday, prompting evacuations, as the state sweltered under a heat wave that is forecast to continue through Labor Day.
An excessive heat warning is in effect across much of Southern California, including Los Angeles County. Some concerned California residents took to social media after seeing the erroneous alert.
“Can someone at @notifyla either confirm that there *is* a huge evacuation notice (and why!), or let everyone know if the message was supposed to just be for the area near Castaic where there are fires?” one person wrote on Twitter.
“Lots of people freaking out over this vague yet alarming TV alert.”
Another wrote: “That was scary! I called the Sheriff’s Office to see what was going on. LA better get it together.”