Monterey Park is sorry it spammed your mobile phone

Thumbnail image for air-raid-drill-in-tunnel.jpgThousands of people across the LA area received a nerve-jangling email alert this afternoon from the city of Monterey Park. In some cases more than one or two. Um, sorry about that. You've never had to pass through Monterey Park (or even know where the Eastside city is located) to get the alert. Nancy Spiller emailed she was driving on the Westside when the warning sound came through the bluetooth in her car.

The city posted a statement at 6 p.m., a few hours after the alerts first rang into cellphones.

In an effort to test the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) today from the City of Monterey Park’s Emergency Operations Center a test alert was initiated which reached further than anticipated.

The IPAWS system is a federally sponsored emergency alerting system similar to the Emergency Alerting System most are familiar with and receive via their television and/ or radios. IPAWS is designed to be used for notifications during times of large scale emergencies.

An alert text message reading “TEST From Monterey Park EOC, THIS IS ONLY A TEST” with alerting tone was issued using instructions from a third party vendor software system. Though a single test was conducted, reports have been received of multiple alerts being broadcasted.

Fire Department staff is working with local, state, and federal agencies to determine the cause of this event, and wishes to apologize for any inconvenience or undue concerns which were caused by this action.

Shamelessly unrelated photo: 1958 air raid drill in the Pacific Electric subway tunnel under Bunker Hill/LAPL

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