Emergency warning system is Govt. priority after storms sweep across Romania

An emergency system to warn the public about extreme weather phenomena has become a government priority after the storms that swept through Western Romania during the evening of September 17, according to Romania-Insider.com.

Eight people lost their lives and the number of those injured in the Sunday evening storms has risen to 145, the Inspectorate for Emergency Situations (IGSU) said. Damages were reported in 212 localities in 15 counties, namely Alba, Arad, Bihor, Bistriţa-Năsăud, Braşov, Cluj, Caraş-Severin, Hunedoara, Harghita, Iaşi, Maramureş, Mureş, Suceava, Sălaj and Timiş.

At the same time, the road and railway infrastructure in Western and Northern Romania was impacted by the storm. Fifteen passenger train routes were canceled after the storms, and 112 trains circulating in the area of Timişoara, Cluj, Braşov and Iaşi had combined delays of over 243 hours, the Romanian Railways Company (CFR) announced.

Romania’s Prime Minister Mihai Tudose said that work has begun, starting today, September 18, on an emergency population warning system. The warning would first be transmitted at a governmental level, then taken over by mobile telephony operators and distributed towards the areas were extreme weather phenomena are expected to take place.

“What will be a priority starting today is to establish a functional warning system. […] We will have to work with the Emergency Situations Inspectorate and with mobile telephony operators […] so that there is a coordination and we establish a functional mechanism,” the Prime Minister said at Radio Romania Actualitati, quoted by News.ro.

The head of the government said all counties will soon receive the technical support to be able to intervene in such situations.

A task group to work on the mobile telephony warning system was set up on Monday, September 18, according to government sources quoted by Agerpres. The group is set to have its first meeting also on Monday.

 

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