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Some in NJ receive false emergency alerts

December 12, 2011 2:22:00 PM PST
Residents in parts of New Jersey have been receiving text messages stating civil alert, but officials say there is no alert.

John Dalton was on a conference call when the emergency alert came down on his Verizon Droid X.

The message started by saying, "Civil emergency in this area until 1:24 p.m. EST. Take shelter now. U-S Govern."

The alert came down only on a few phones in a few areas but it was certainly enough to get 911 in some areas ringing off the hook, like the Sheriff's Department in Monmouth County.

"That message went out about 12:26 p.m. right around lunchtime whereby our 911 communication center just lit up with additional phone calls, triple than we get during that time period," said Shaun Golden, Monmouth Co. Sheriff.

Obviously, Verizon was testing it emergency alerts on its Android systems, they just forgot to make it clear it wasn't a real emergency.

With an apology Verizon said, "The text message was a test message that was not clearly identified as a test message."

But it got OEM scrambling just in case.

All's well that ends well.

John continued with his conference call, Sheriff Golden dashed off to a meeting, and Verizon is fixing the system.

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