Wednesday 18 September 2019

Irish citizens to receive phone alerts if they are near a terror attack or natural disaster

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Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

Irish citizens will now be sent official alerts to their mobile phones if they are near a terrorist attack or natural disaster, as part of a new European-wide initiative.

The European Parliament has voted today to introduce Reverse112 in all members states.

The scheme - which is already available in the Netherlands, Lithuania, Sweden and Belgium - sends text messages from emergency services with warnings to citizens in the event of a terror attack or natural disaster to let them know what is happening, as well as advice about what to do next.

Each state will have 42 months after the legislation comes into force to rollout the system and each government will be asked to work with mobile phone providers to help implement it.

Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has welcomed the development, saying it is a "great step forward for the safety of the Europeans."

"Today in the European Parliament MEPs voted to introduce Reverse112 in all Member States.

"The system is designed to help keep Europeans safe during natural disasters or terror attacks, by sending critical information directly to their mobile phone. In a large emergency, people will receive information directly on their phone about what is happening and how to remain safe," MEP Clune said.

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