Bhubaneswar, Oct 25:Almost 99 percent cell phone users on Wednesday heard a loud beep and received an emergency alert on their phones.Following the beeps, flash messages were also seen on their phones.
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 Department of Telecommunications (DoT) announced that it was a part of testing of the Cell Broadcast Alert System to enhance emergency communication during disasters and ensure the safety and well-being of the citizens, in collaboration with the National Disaster Management Authority.
Responding to the queries of the cell phone users BB Pandey, Deputy DG of Telecommunications Dept said, an EMERGENCY ALERT messaging trial was conducted in Odisha to alert public in case of natural disasters. Alert messages were sent to all mobile numbers of 4 service providers with an alert text message.
These tests will be performed from time to time in various regions across the country, reports said. This will be used by the government to deliver emergency alerts, such as severe weather warnings like Tsunamis, Flash floods, earthquakes, public safety messages, evacuation notices, and other critical information.
However he said, “There is nothing to panic about as the 'Cell Broadcast Alert System' is being tested to provide real-time disaster alerts to citizens for scenarios like Tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, and lightning. The alert message will be sent to people so that they can escape from the place before they are affected by natural disaster.”
“The test is being conducted in association with all Telecom service providers like Airtel, Jio, BSNL, Idea, and others. The testing is now going on. Messages in Odia and English are being sent to people in Odisha from 11 a.m. today as part of the testing,” said Pandey.
The government is working with the National Disaster Management Authority for better preparedness during natural disasters. Phone users in India received similar text messages on July 20, August 17, and September 15, he added.