Southern California residents in Orange County were stunned when television broadcasts were suddenly interrupted for about a minute with an ominous message predicting the end of the world.

Lake Forest resident Stacy Laflamme says she was watching HGTV on Cox Communications when suddenly an emergency alert flashed on a screen followed by a voice: 

“Realize this, extremely violent times will come.”

Laflamme says she was freaked out by the sudden alarm.

“It almost sounded like Hitler talking. It sounded like a radio broadcast coming through the television.”

Spectrum customers were also hit, Erin Mireles says she was watching Bravo when her show was interrupted.

“I was definitely startled, ’cause the volume increased exponentially. I wasn’t alarmed in the sense of thinking something was wrong, ’cause I assumed it was some sort of hack. My channel changed back to Bravo after a couple minutes.”

Cox spokesman Joe Camero says the problem happened because of one or more radio stations were conducting an emergency test at the same time.

“With these tests, an emergency tone is sent out to initiate the test. After the tone is transmitted, another tone is sent to end the message. It appears that the radio station (or stations) did not transmit the end tone to complete the test."

Camero says Cox shut down the test as soon as they were made aware of the issue.

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