Evacuation order telling residents to leave L.A. was broadcast on TV ‘in error,’ authorities say

An evacuation order telling residents to leave Los Angeles immediately was accidentally broadcast on television Wednesday, authorities said.

Viewers in Ventura County who were watching TV at the time received the frightening alert, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.

The notice “was sent in error by the County of Los Angeles,” the sheriff’s office said in a tweet shared in English and Spanish.

“There is no threat to Ventura County at this time and no need for residents to evacuate,” the sheriff’s office said.

It is not clear how many viewers saw the alert, which read: “Emergency alert system. A civil authority has issued an IMMEDIATE EVACUATION NOTICE for the following counties or areas,” according to Bloomberg.

Los Angeles, Eastern North Pacific Ocean, and Port Conception to Guadalupe were included on the list, the news outlet reported. 

“That was scary!” one social media user wrote, tweeting out a photo of the alert on their television screen. “I called the Sheriff’s Office to see what was going on. LA better get it together,” they said.

“That’s a pretty big error,” another person weighed in.

The alert came as wildfires tore across California Wednesday, with the Route Fire near Castaic, north of L.A., triggering a number of evacuations in the area.

As of Wednesday night, no structures had been destroyed in the Route Fire, but the blaze was more than 4,600 acres, and Interstate 5 was closed in both directions.

The County of Los Angeles did not appear to publicly comment on the accidental alert, but shared a tweet from the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management saying the Emergency Operations Center was “activated and monitoring developments” for the Route Fire.

Los Angeles County officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.

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