SANTA MONICA ( — Following the issuance of a tsunami advisory for the Southland on Wednesday night, at least one law enforcement agency reported a surge in 911 calls with residents asking whether they should evacuate.

Many still expressed confusion on Thursday over the way in which they were informed of the advisory as some received alerts on their cellphones from National Tsunami Warning Center. Others got alerts from weather apps.

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“I just heard that there might be something coming,” said one man, while another said: “It’s really scared.”

In Santa Monica, some visitors and residents agree: they weren’t sure what to make of the advisory, which has since been cancelled.

“I was a little confused as to how far away from the beach to go,” one woman said, while a man said: “I don’t know if anyone knew what was actually happening.”

CBS2 went to Luke Leslie with the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management to try and get some answers.

Leslie said the office sent press releases to media but didn’t see the need to send alerts directly to the public.

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“This event just barely made it from a watch into an advisory, which means it was just about a one-foot wave,” he said.

When asked if there were any regrets as to how the incident was handled, Leslie said: “Last night’s event was a low-level event. You, as a resident, need to know your risk.”

Orange County reacted the same way and saw a surge of 911 calls due to the confusion.

Both counties had personnel alerting people in the water or near marinas when the strongest current hit.

But even with a bigger threat, Reporter Erica Nochlin says residents should not expect sirens like those heard in Chile following Wednesday’s 8.3-magnitude quake.

In Los Angeles and Orange counties, sirens are a thing of the past. Those in a tsunami zone should get to higher ground or at least one mile inland.

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To sign up for Los Angeles County Emergency Alerts received via cellphone, click here. Click here to download a Los Angeles County Emergency Survival Guide.