The Italians have been testing a mobile alert system across the country which sends a loud noise to the users’ phones in the event of an earthquake, tidal wave, volcanic eruption, or flooding.
The system is controversial because some are worried that the government is using it to take a census by tracking the locations of mobile phone users – particularly as it cannot be turned off without confirmation.
The system has been tested throughout the country, but when it was Rome’s turn to be tested, a notice appeared on the IT Alert website website saying it had been postponed and the Met Office said that it was due to poor weather.
“This decision was made for several crucial reasons. Firstly, to avoid overlapping real emergencies or current weather warnings that require the attention and intervention of civil protection personnel. In fact, in the early afternoon hours, a yellow weather alert was issued because of the thunderstorms expected between 20 and 21 September on Lazio,” the Met Office said.
So basically, you can’t use an emergency phone system during a mild emergency. This might mean that in 2000 years, they might be digging up a few petrified bodies Pompey of tourists watching Mount Vesuvius erupt while waiting for an emergency warning from the government on their mobile phones which never comes.
A more cynical view is that a politician does not want his lunch date with his mistress interupted by the loud wailing of the emergency siren.