‘Emergency alert’ sparks panic among TV viewers across US

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The residents of about a dozen US states received a scare when an ominous message rolled across their TV screens announcing an ‘emergency alert’ with the names of their states – without any explanation or further information.

A test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) began shortly before noon on Monday and was seen by millions of television viewers in Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC, Infowars reported.

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EAS is a special department run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and the National Weather Service (NOAA/NWS).

The alert interrupted regularly scheduled television programs for 10 minutes with a listing of affected states and an announcement that the alert would remain in effect until midnight.

Americans across the country took to social media to express a wide range of emotions – from bewilderment to panic – as the alert gave no indication that it was only a test.

While much of the alert was for the East Coast of the United States, viewers from as far away as Sacramento, California, also reported seeing the test.

The emergency alert follows shortly after reports that elite branches of the US military - including Green Berets, Navy SEALS and Special Operations from the Air Force and Marines - are preparing to hold military training in seven southwest states, with some troops operating incognito among civilians.

Operation Jade Helm, which is scheduled to kick off in July and run for eight weeks, will involve the participation of 1,200 troops in dozens of towns in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas and Utah.

No information was available indicating that the emergency alert was connected to this upcoming military drill, where Americans were asked to provide information on ‘suspicious’ activity to the authorities.