After a severe storm

Cell phone warning system for storms delayed

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10.07.2024 09:00

Smartphone users should be informed automatically via push notifications in the event of danger. The public prosecutor's office is now investigating the storm in Linz, in which two event participants were seriously injured by a tree. An expert is now looking into the condition of the fallen ginkgo tree.

Now it's the turn of the public prosecutor's office: "We have received a report," says their spokesperson Florian Roitner, after the police had previously started investigating the devastating storm on Saturday - we reported. "There is an investigation into negligent bodily harm", says Roitner. At Tummelplatz in Linz, several people were hit by parts of a 28-meter-high ginkgo tree and some were seriously injured. A separate expert is to clarify the condition of the ginkgo.

The violent storm on Saturday also covered several roofs in the central area (Bild: Berufsfeuerwehr Linz)
The violent storm on Saturday also covered several roofs in the central area

Function should prevent surprises
Despite forecasts, the violent storm took many by surprise. To prevent this from happening in future, the Ministry of the Interior is working on implementing a warning system for smartphones called AT-Alert. This allows the nine state warning centers and the Ministry of the Interior to send push notifications to all cell phones that are located in the area of a specific transmission mast where danger is imminent. For example, in the event of natural disasters such as squalls, but also gas leaks, nuclear accidents or similar.

Not yet in operation
However, contrary to earlier announcements, the warning system for our cell phones will probably not "go live" as quickly as the thunderstorm last Saturday. This is because Finance Minister Magnus Brunner (ÖVP) said in March 2023: "The regional tests are now starting, after which the warning system will be rolled out nationwide." A year later, in March of this year, the then State Secretary for Digital Affairs Florian Tursky (also ÖVP) announced that the "final stages of implementation" were underway and that the system would be launched in the summer. Now, in response to an inquiry from the Ministry of the Interior, "We are currently working on the implementation of the system. The plan is to launch AT-Alert with a test operation in 2024."

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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