The application to alert citizens before the major risk situations – “Sistem Alert” – will be developed and implemented by ANCOM (National Authority for Communications Administration and Regulation), IGSU (General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations), STS (Special Telecommunications Service), in collaboration with the telephone operators, according to a Government release on Monday.
“Prime Minister Mihai Tudose today requested the implementation in the shortest while of an integrated citizen alert system in such major risk situations, with an emergency message to be send via mobile phone. “Sistem Alert” will be developed and implemented by ANCOM, IGSU, STS, in cooperation with the telephone operators. (…) “Sistem Alert” will operate through sending specific alert messages to subscribers on their mobile phone, not only via text message (SMS), after the model of the already existing ones and operating in the European states. The alert will be sent depending on the emergency situations at regional level – extreme meteorological phenomena, risks of explosions, other disasters and risk situations,” specified the Government.
According to the release, the technical solutions will be established by a working group of representatives of the above-mentioned entities and experts, with its first meeting taking place on Monday.
At the same time with the implementation of the alert system a public information campaign to prepare the population to use this system, will be launched, said the abovementioned source.
President Iohannis asks for rapid implementation of citizen alert system
President Klaus Iohannis asked the Government to immediately implement a citizen alert system for emergency situations, while underlying that the extremely violent storms that hit Romania on Sunday reveal “the vulnerabilities” and “inefficiency” of the citizen alert system for disaster mitigation.
According to the head of the state, it is “unacceptable” that a country like Romania, which gained recognition for its large number of IT specialists and fast Internet doesn’t have a governmental initiative for implementing a citizen alert system.
“The severe meteorological phenomena caused numerous losses of human lives and also left tens wounded behind. My thoughts go to the mourning families, to whom I also send my sincere condolences. Moreover, I wish the wounded to have a quick recovery and I send my gratitude to the rescuers. Protecting the life of the citizens and warning the population in such extreme cases are the priority objectives of the Government. In the context of the increase in frequency and intensity of the dangerous meteorological phenomena, we cannot tolerate any kind of disruptions in the internal communications process between the state institutions, which are responsible not only for intervening to remedy the consequences of disasters, but also to prevent them, through the timely dissemination of information meant for warning the population over the imminent dangers,” reads a release on Monday sent by the Presidential Administration.
The head of the state asked the Government to explain at the shortest if the procedures were observed and who is to blame for negligence and incompetence.
PM Tudose: Interventions continue in storm-hit counties; Interior Minister went to assess situation in Banat
Prime Minister Mihai Tudose on Monday morning informed that the Minister of Interior, Carmen Dan, has arrived in the Western region of the country, where she will assess the situation on ground after the storm on Sunday, while specifying that, over the past hours, the interventions of the authorities in the hit counties focused on saving lives, treating the injured, opening access ways and restoring the rail transportation and the electric power and gas supply.
“A complete estimation, in terms of losses, is not ready yet. (…) Last night’s interventions focused on saving lives, treating the injured, opening access ways that were blocked, restoring the railway transportation, electricity and gas supply. There are still people who are stuck in various places, people who were in the mountains. (…) In fact, there were more than 300 trees that were put down, 137-140 roofs taken away, 42 rail segments broken, hundreds of localities with the power cut. We worked all night and we hope that today we will be able to remedy these effects,” Tudose told Radio Romania Actualitati radio station.
IntMin on President’s request: We asked for such system; just 100,000 users of emergency app
Interior Minister Carmen Dan said on Monday, about President Klaus Iohannis’ request, that Prime Minister Tudose was having a discussion at Victoria Palace with representatives of the National Communications Administration and Regulatory Agency (ANCOM), pointing out that discussions of such a warning system and solutions for its implementation had been made ever since the previous year.
“Some time ago, we talked about the need to find solutions for the implementation of such a system. I said there are talks with mobile operators. There is currently a meeting going on at the Government House, at the request of the prime minister, with ANCOM representatives and specialists from relevant ministries. I am convinced that specialists will identify a technical solution to design such a system,” Dan said in Timisoara.
She mentioned an application developed by the Emergency Directorate (DSU), expressing regret that only 100,000 people downloaded it.
”Unfortunately, in the morning I wanted to know how many downloaded the application. There are 100,000 users. I think it is useful and it would be great if we downloaded and used the application. It is useful and free,” Dan pointed out.
Dan: I’d like a first request for support from the Reserves Fund on Wednesday
Interior Minister Carmen Dan said in Timisoara on Monday that the administrations started assessing the damage in the western part of the country in the aftermath of a violent storm on Sunday afternoon and that, as far as possible, she would like the first requests for support from the Government’s Reserves Fund to be discussed at a government meeting on Wednesday.
“At this point we are conducting assessments everywhere, and I would like them to be completed as soon as possible. Of course it also depends on what the assessment teams find out at the scene, because on Wednesday I would like a first request for support from the Government’s Reserves Fund for those affected,” said Dan.
Interior Minister participated at a meeting of the emergency command convened in Timisoara on Monday to assess the Sunday storm damage, that was also attended by Prime Minister Mihai Tudose.
“Minister Carmen Dan will carry out talks with prefects and ISU [Inspectorate for Emergency Situations] representatives for assessing the situation in the field, in order to take the most adequate measures for restoring to normal the affected communities,” a Interior Ministry (MAI) release revealed.
The minister’s and ministry officials’ first stop was in Timis county, at the county hospital, where Carmen Dan inquired about the medical situation of the minors with traumas caused by the storms on Sunday afternoon that ravaged western Romania killing eight people and injuring 137.
Ever since Sunday evening, there have been over 1,800 units with 571 technical means working in 15 countries which have been struck by storm.
Dragnea on storm in Banat: It seemed to me Iohannis tried to blame the Government
On Monday, Social Democratic Party Chairman (PSD) Liviu Dragnea stated it “seemed” to him that President Klaus Iohannis tried to blame the Government. He pointed out that the Government is not to blame and, quite the contrary, it acted correctly and rapidly.
Asked for his opinion on what is to be done to avoid similar situations, Dragnea responded: “It would be better to avoid sending text messages from other countries when such disasters happen in the country. I believe it would be the first thing we should do because it doesn’t help at all, it only interferes with things. (…) The Government acted correctly, rapidly.”
Asked what bothered him with the fact that the Presidency issued a communique, against the backdrop in which the Head of State is in New York, Dragnea responded: “It didn’t bother me, but still, it seemed to me – maybe I’m wrong – that he immediately tried to blame the Government. I don’t believe the Government is to blame here, we can find other faults with it.”
“I believe the first preoccupation is to pray for the wounded recover; secondly – that the assessments are done rapidly and the compensations are allocated and, in parallel, we should see which are the warning systems,” Dragnea added.