UPDATE – ES alert test proves successful but Apple users need to take action

Spanish government to test sending disaster alerts to mobile phones and yours could be one

Alert system - Credit Simone Hogan / Shutterstock.com

16:26 (November 2) – The government has successfully tested the emergency alert service, although some issues have arisen with only seven out of ten alerts being activated. 

Alerts were sent randomly to mobile phone users, however only those with Android phones were guaranteed to receive it as it now appears that Apple users have to manually activate the option.

To do Apple users need to go to settings/notifications and turn on the ES-Alert function.

Those that did received a message were sent a text that said: ‘Es-Alert tests the new emergency warning system. It does not respontaneous to this message. Do not call 112. This is a test message in the Region of Murcia.” 

According to news site Laverdad, response to the message was mixed. Some said the system worked well and it’s a great idea, whilst others felt that it could be ignored by some as spam, and that perhaps better methods exist for alerting people. 

A number of those who did receive the message are said to have got a fright, even those who were expecting it. 

The General Directorate of Citizen Security is now carrying out an evaluation of the test and the system, with some changes expected particularly in terms of the advance information provided around the system and how it works. 

11:57 (october 22) – The Spanish government is to test its disaster alert system by sending messages to mobile phones over the next three weeks.

The Civil Protection service said on Saturday, October 22 that it would start the ES-Alert system test from Monday with tests undertaken in different regions on different days. The test has been confirmed by news agency Larazon.

They have assured residents they should not be alarmed by the test nor should they think that it is a scam, but they should take note of how the test will work.

Phones that receive the alert will hear their device whistle and vibrate until the user confirms receipt of the message. The alert will contain a written message which once acknowledged, the alarm and vibration will stop.

Apart from acknowledging receipt, you don’t have to do anything else.

So when could you expect to receive a message?

October 24: Cantabria, Andalusia and Asturias.

October 27: Extremadura, Valencia and Galicia.

November 2: Murcia, the Balearic islands, Madrid, Aragon, Navarre and Catalonia.

November 10: the Basque Country, Castile and León, the Canary Islands and Ceuta

November 16: Castilla-La Mancha, La Rioja and Melilla.

The government initially considered using text messages, however, they settled on a cell broadcast which has better, faster and wider coverage.

According to the company involved SIA, “the antennas broadcast to any phone that is connected to the system.

“Among the advantages of the system are its immediacy, the fact that it takes up very little bandwidth, and works automatically for all the devices in the coverage of an antenna.”

The only downside of the system, which the Spanish government is to test, is that it only connects to smartphones.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.


    • James Billington

      23 October 2022 • 10:00

      For what exactly??? – ridiculous – government up to no good yet again

      • Keith145

        23 October 2022 • 13:31

        I would remind you that you are a guest in Spain and should respect their decisions, their is obviously a good reason for testing in this way. If you really want to ridicule governments try the UK government.

    • Naimah Yianni

      23 October 2022 • 10:01

      Apparently these can be switched off in the phone settings if you don´t want to receive them

    • Marc Anthony

      25 October 2022 • 01:08

      Little late no? US, Canada etc have had this in place for over a decade

    Comments are closed.