Luxembourg sets up new disaster alert system
Luxembourg is setting up a new system to alert residents in case of extreme weather conditions after the government drew criticism last year for failing to warn people about floods that wreaked havoc across the country.
One single alert will in the future be broadcast on to mobile phones, social media, press releases and sirens spread throughout the country, the government said in a presentation on Friday.
During heavy storms in February, the government sent out text alerts via the GouvAlert system to mobile phones. But last year, a government minister conceded that just 15,000 people had signed up to the system. The rest would need to find the information on government websites.
And in July, opposition parties in parliament asked why GouvAlert failed to send any warnings ahead of the floods after torrential rain caused rivers to burst their banks across the country, flooding entire towns and villages, driving thousands from their homes, and causing traffic chaos.
In the days following the floods, many people who suffered damage to their homes and businesses criticised the government, backed by opposition lawmakers, for not doing enough to warn them of the risks of the upcoming floods. At the time, flood warnings appeared only on a government website that many people said they were not aware existed.
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