Did you receive this ‘emergency alert’ on your phone today? Here's what it means - Hindustan Times
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Did you receive this ‘emergency alert' on your phone today? Here's what it means

Sep 15, 2023 03:05 PM IST

Emergency alert tests are conducted using cell broadcast systems to assess effectiveness and identify potential problems.

Many smartphone users across India received an “emergency alert” on Friday afternoon with a loud beep. The notification was a test message sent by the department of telecommunication to check the new emergency alert system developed by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The message informed recipients that it was a test and that no action was required. The flash message was sent between 12 noon and 12:45pm.

The notification was sent by the Department of Telecommunication as a test message to few mobile devices.
The notification was sent by the Department of Telecommunication as a test message to few mobile devices.

"This is a SAMPLE TESTING MESSAGE sent through the Cell Broadcasting System by the Department of Telecommunication, Government of India. Please ignore this message as no action is required from your end. This message has been sent to TEST Pan-India Emergency Alert System being implemented by National Disaster Management Authority. It aims to enhance public safety and provide timely alerts during emergencies," the flash message read.

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The NDMA is using this test to assess the effectiveness of the alert system and to identify any potential problems.

“These tests will be performed from time to time in various regions across country to gauge the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency alert broadcasting capabilities of the systems in place, of various Mobile Operators and Cell Broadcast System," a statement by the department of telecommunications dated July 20 read.

What is the cell broadcast alert system?

According to the DoT, the cell broadcast alert system is a technology which allows the government to send critical and time-sensitive messages for disaster management to all the mobile devices within a designated geographical area, irrespective of whether the recipients are residents or visitors.

The government said the alert system ensures that necessary emergency information reaches the maximum people in a timely manner. It is used by government agencies and emergency services to inform the public about potential threats and keep them informed.

Cell Broadcast is commonly used to deliver emergency alerts, such as severe weather warnings like tsunami, flash floods, earthquakes etc.

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