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Italy starts new round of tests for 'IT-Alert' warning system

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Italy starts new round of tests for 'IT-Alert' warning system
A example of an alert message sent by Italy's new mobile warning system. Image courtesy of IT-Alert.

People in 12 Italian regions can expect text alerts in the coming weeks, as Italy began testing its 'IT-Alert' emergency warning system again from Monday.


The latest round of tests will be conducted in 12 regions, Italy's civil protection department said, and run from Monday, January 22nd to Friday, January 26th.

Residents of the city of Turin in the northern region of Piedmont were set to be the first to receive an alert on Monday warning them of a nuclear power plant disaster in a nearby country.

The text, to be sent in both Italian and English, was clearly marked as a simulation, according to Italian media.

"TEST TEST This is a TEST MESSAGE IT - alert. We are SIMULATING a nuclear accident in a plant located in a foreign country with potential repercussions in the area where you are located. To find out what message you will receive in the event of real danger from a nuclear accident, go to TEST TEST," it reportedly reads.

Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Piedmont, Sardinia, Sicily, Tuscany, Valle D'Aosta and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano are the other regions due to be included in the latest round of trials: however only residents in certain areas will receive the warning.

Italy had already trialled the system on a more general basis on pre-announced dates in summer and autumn 2023.

READ ALSO: 'IT-Alert': How Italy will warn you of nearby emergencies via text

The new round of tests focuses on three specific emergencies: nuclear disaster, the collapse of a dam, and a major accident hazard at an industrial plant.

These scenarios weren't chosen at random: Italy has experienced catastrophes in the past relating to dams and factory accidents, and has been affected by the aftermath of nuclear explosions.

The collapse of the Vajont Dam in a valley north of Venice in 1663 killed 2,000 people and flattened villages in its path.

The EU's Seveso III Directive relating to industrial accidents is based on a 1976 chemical explosion from a factory in the town of Seveso that released high levels of a toxic carcinogen into the atmosphere.


And a decade ago, Italy's health ministry found that 27 wild boars in the Piedmont region were contaminated with a radioactive isotope likely caused by the fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster (wild boar are a popular delicacy in Italian cooking).

The IT-Alert system published a calendar to its website showing when the trials were scheduled to take place in each region - though specified that the dates could be subject to change.


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eileen 2024/01/22 19:35
Do residents in those regions with mobiles registered in other eucountries get the alerts?

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