This Thursday, November 10, at midday, 12:00, the Canary Islands participated in a test of a new public alert system, using mobile phone networks, called ES-Alert, organised by the General Directorate of Civil Protection and Emergencies (DGPCE) and the Regional Ministry of Public Administrations, Justice and Security, directed by Julio Pérez.
- The system is designed to send mass warnings to the population, via all mobile phones in a specific area, during the test to around 10,000 people
- The Ministry of Public Administrations, Justice and Security prepared the tests and trained emergency personnel, as necessary prior to its first usage
This warning system allows notification by text message direct to mobile phones in a case of catastrophe or during emergencies, such as fires, floods, adverse weather phenomena or chemical accidents, without the need to install an application, since the system sends the warning to all telephones where the possible emergency area is located, operating as a ‘reverse 1-1-2’.
For this test, two scenarios were selected for sending the alert, with a population of approximately 10,000 people, who received a message on their GSM device screens with a beep and a vibration. Once read, recipients only have to press “accept” without any need to answer or call 1-1-2.
The test message today was sent to the area around the town of Valleseco on Gran Canaria, and the twon of Garachico, on Tenerife, however they warned that the coverage of telephone antennas may extend the dissemination of the notice to neighboring areas and other adjacent municipalities.
In this sense, in Valleseco, the message was expected to potentially reach surrounding areas including Troyanas, Zamora, Lanzarote, El Lomo, Valsendero and Madrelagua, as well as possibly reaching the municipalities of Moya (El Tablero) and Teror (Arbejales, Las Toscas, Ojero, Lomontero, Los Corrales, Las Rosadas and San Isidro).
Both test areas were selected for their unique characteristics allow the behaviour of the warning system to be assessed, as they are environments exposed to certain types of Civil Protection risks.
Prior to the exercise, the General Directorate of Security and Emergencies (DGSE) of the Government of the Canary Islands communicated the test to the municipalities and island councils involved and the CECOES 1-1-2 emergency coordination centre informed the security and emergency services to avoid generating undue alarm.