Days after Android users received an emergency test alert from the government, iPhone users have also started receiving the same message. The alert appears as a flash on the lockscreen and informs users that it is a test message. Screenshots of the lockscreen showing the alert have been shared on social media platforms. However, some iPhone users have reported that they have not received any such alert.
The message reads: “Emergency Alert This is a SAMPLE TESTING MESSAGE sent using Cell Broadcast by Deptt of Telecom, Govt of India to TEST Emergency Alert System of NDMA. No action is required at your end. 29/09/2023 12:59 PM.” The screenshots show that the message was sent by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) at 12:59 pm today. The government is implementing these alerts to improve preparedness for disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and flash floods.
Some users have shared their experiences on social media. One user said, “A very great initiative by @ndmaindia and @DoT_India @TRAI for utilizing mobile features during an emergency. Today received a test alert via cell broadcast on my iPhone and Apple Watch. Good job #emergencyalert.” Another user asked, “Emergency alert: extreme in India. At the same time, my entire family received one alert message on their mobile phones. What is this?”
This alert was highly anticipated by iPhone users, especially after Android users shared photos of the alert on their phones twice before. Setting up the alert on an iPhone is relatively easy. According to Apple’s official website, users need to go to Notifications under Settings, scroll to the bottom of the screen, and turn on or off the type of alert under Government Alerts.
However, this option is not available on iPhones in India, even after the latest software update. Apple Support had previously mentioned that the option may not be available for certain countries or regions. But the latest development indicates that the feature will soon be available on all iPhones.
Interestingly, several Android phones have received similar alerts in the past. Users reported hearing a loud beep and seeing an “emergency alert: severe” flash on their phones.
Sources at the National Disaster Management Authority mentioned in August that they plan to roll out the alert system soon. The government aims to test urgent disaster alert messages on TV, radio, and railway stations in the coming months to better inform citizens and enhance preparedness for severe weather conditions.