At around noon on Tuesday, numerous smartphones displayed an unexpected pop-up message with the label “Emergency alert: Severe.” While this abrupt notification might cause concern, readers are urged to remain composed as this is simply a test. The Centre is running repeated tests of flash emergency messages to ensure smoothness of the process when an actual emergency arrives.
The complete flash message, which was mostly sent out in Hindi but in some cases in English as well, read as follows:
“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.”
As explicitly mentioned in the message, “No action is required from your end.”
It’s important to note that this flash broadcast was exclusive to Android smartphones. ABP Live verified that iOS handsets did not receive this notification at the time of reporting.
This is not the first instance of such a flash message. A similar flash message popped up last month. Additionally, PTI had reported similar occurrences back in August this year.
In fact, the DoT and NDMA have actively been conducting tests on the ‘Cell Broadcast Alert System’ since July, according to a government release.
Some users may have recently received an SMS from the Department of Telecommunications, stating, “DoT, Govt of India would conduct Cell Broadcast testing with NDMA. You may receive test alerts on mobile with sound/vibration. These alerts are part of testing process, do not indicate an actual emergency and do not require any action at your end.”
The received message was a deliberate test notification sent by the DoT to evaluate the functionality of its emergency alert system.
The cell broadcast alert system, as clarified by the DoT, is a technology that enables the government to transmit critical and time-sensitive messages related to disaster management to all mobile devices within a specified geographic area, regardless of whether the recipients are residents or visitors.
Cell Broadcast is a widely used method for disseminating emergency alerts, covering severe weather warnings such as tsunamis, flash floods, earthquakes, and similar events. ABP LIVE