Last Updated: September 15, 2023, 13:10 IST
The Indian government is aggressively testing its yet-to-release emergency alerts feature and millions of mobile phone users in the country have been seeing its impact. Many users in the Delhi-NCR region on Friday, September 15, got a buzzing sound on their phones and with a screen flashing this message, “This is a SAMPLE TESTING MESSAGE sent through Cell Broadcasting System by 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,”
This message popped up on the main screen of your phone and on Friday many users got it again. During the test, several users got the flash message with a loud sound that definitely spooked some of you. People have got message in both English and Hindi. Hopefully, more languages will be supported to help people in other parts of the country.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has stated that these alerts will be sent and tested on a regular basis to ensure that mobile operators and the cellular infrastructure are capable of handling emergency broadcasts.
These emergency alerts will be used by the Government of India during calamities like earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and other events. The tests help the DoT to prepare for such alerts at a mass scale. The alert doesn’t come to everyone simultaneously, and we noticed this when a similar alert was flashed by the government on August 17.
Alerts like these are quite commonly used in many countries so it is good to see the Indian government has finally decided to have its own system in place. With the changing climate conditions, severe events have become rampant, including the massive flooding reported in the Himalayan belt this year. With millions of people using a phone, it allows the DoT to push these alerts and warn people about possible natural disasters or other imminent events.