MOBILE phone owners in parts of Alicante province got a Thursday surprise as the Valencian government tested out its emergency alert system.

27 municipalities in the Vega Baja region and Elche received a test warning that the Segura river had burst its banks and that flooding was inevitable.

High-pitched sounds came from the phones which could only be switched off once the message had been accessed.

The messages were sent in English and Spanish and advised recipients to go to the upper levels of their properties.

The test involved using the ES-Alert system which delivered the texts to users in a specific geographic area.

It’s the second such test carried out in the Valencian Community but this time reaching a significant number of mobile phone owners.

The Valencian Secretary for Security and Emergencies, Jose Maria Angel, said the trial ‘is part of the set of actions foreseen in the Vega Renhace plan’.

He stressed that public alerts with protection instructions will allow emergency services to have direct contact with the public and will be essential to minimise the risk of future threats like flooding.

The Vega Renhace Plan is seeking to improve preparations in the wake of the September 2019 flood disaster and encourages greater readiness compared to what happened nearly four years ago.

Every Vega Baja municipality has been mandated to have a plan to deal with floods- both before and after an emergency.


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