“This is a Sample Testing Message”, flashed across iPhone screens on Tuesday as India tested its emergency alert system. The notification on the smartphone popped with a loud buzzer-like sound. The message was sent through the Cell Broadcasting System by the Department of Telecommunication, Government of India.
The flash message read, “This is a SAMPLE TESTING MESSAGE sent through 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 the National Disaster Management Authority. It aims to enhance public safety and provide timely alerts during emergencies.”
The message landed on all iPhones at 11.30 a.m. today.
The emergency text message was also sent to the Apple Watch Ultra with a strong buzzer as well as vibration.
The Cell Broadcasting System by the Department of Telecommunication said that such tests will be carried out from time to time in different regions to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the emergency warning broadcast capabilities of mobile operators and cell broadcast systems.
The government is working with the National Disaster Management Authority to be better prepared for disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis and flash floods.
Sources at the National Disaster Management Authority told String Reveals in August this year that they plan to roll out the alert system soon. “The government is planning to roll out the alert system in the next six to eight months. The second phase of the Common Alerting Protocol was tested today. In the coming months, the government plans to carry out test runs for broadcasting urgent disaster alert messages on TV, Radio and at Railway Stations,” sources in NDMA told String Reveals.
The NDMA plans to expand the warning system to television, radio and other mediums to ensure citizens are promptly informed and better prepared for severe weather.