On Tuesday, iPhone screens lit up with a loud, buzzer-like sound, displaying the message “This is a Sample Testing Message” as India conducted a trial of its emergency alert system. The notification was sent via the Cell Broadcasting System by the Government of India’s Department of Telecommunication.
The message that appeared on screens read: “This is a SAMPLE TESTING MESSAGE sent via the Cell Broadcasting System by the Department of Telecommunication, Government of India. You can disregard this message as it does not require any action from your side. The purpose of this message is to TEST the Pan-India Emergency Alert System, which is being implemented by the National Disaster Management Authority. Its goal is to improve public safety by delivering timely alerts during emergency situations.” This message was received on all iPhones at 11:30 AM today.
The emergency text message was also sent to the Apple Watch Ultra with a strong buzzer as well as vibration.
The government is working with the National Disaster Management Authority to be better prepared for disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, and flash floods.
Sources at the National Disaster Management Authority told NDTV in August this year that they plan to roll out the alert system soon. “The government is planning to roll out the alert system in the next six to eight months. 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,” sources in NDMA told NDTV.
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.