An ‘Emergency alert: Severe’ notification flashed on several mobile phones in India today. The message was sent by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) which has started testing the technology that will alert people during natural disasters. “The government is planning to roll out the alert system in the next six to eight months,” sources in NDMA told NDTV.
“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,” they said.
The emergency message that was accompanied by a loud beep landed on all Android phones at 1.35 p.m. on Thursday. Phone users in India received a similar test alert on July 20.
The agency had conceived the “Common Alerting Protocol Based Integrated Alert System” to bring together the alert generating agencies, including the India Meteorological Department, Central Water Commission, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services and Forest Survey of India, alert disseminating agencies and state disaster management authorities on a common platform.
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 According to IMD, India lost 2,770 people to extreme weather events in 2022.
Of them, 1,580 died reportedly due to lightning and thunderstorm, reported news agency PTI.
Extreme weather, climate and water-related events caused 573 disasters in India between 1970 and 2021 that claimed 1,38,377 lives, according to data from the World Meteorological Department.