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Another emergency alert on phone? Telephone department says ‘no action needed’

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) sent out a sample testing ‘Emergency Alert’ on October 10. 

The message stated: “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.”

The message seems to have been sent to citizens pan-India in order to test the country’s Emergency Alert System, being deployed by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). 

The recipients thus need not be alarmed and are not required take any action in response. As per the message the aim of such tests is to “enhance public safety and provide timely alert during emergencies”.

Ongoing efforts

A similar broadcast test was also conducted last month on September 15. The DoT’s Cell Broadcasting System had then said that 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 closely working with the NDMA on the project. It will be used in times of disasters such as tsunamis, flash floods and earthquakes, among others scenarios.

In a statement dated July 20, DoT had also asserted that “these evaluations will occur periodically across different regions throughout the country”. It added that it aim is to “assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the emergency alert broadcasting capabilities of the Mobile Operators and Cell Broadcast System already in place”. 

The Department of Transport (DoT) emphasizes that the cell broadcast alert system is a technology allowing the government to send important and time-critical messages about disaster management to all mobile devices in a specific area, regardless of whether the users live there or are just visiting.

Officials state that this alert system guarantees the rapid spread of essential emergency information to as many people as possible. It acts as a tool for government agencies and emergency services to inform the public about potential threats promptly.


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Updated: 10 Oct 2023, 12:04 PM IST

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