A mysterious message sent to mobile phones by BG-ALERT scared many Bulgarians. Some people report a loud alarm-like startling sound when receiving it.
For most users, the message was accompanied by the text: “Attention, danger!”, and for some there was a signal from the president.
In some neighborhoods of Sofia, people came out of their homes in panic. On social networks, dozens of users share that they received the message in question and were scared.
Former Minister of e-Government Bozhidar Bojanov reassured people by writing on Facebook that there is no danger.
“It’s okay, there’s no danger, it’s just a test message. It is high time to have such a system which is very useful in disasters and it is very good that the Ministry of Interior is implementing it. MoI needs to improve the testing process (especially in a production environment). “test test” is not a good message,” wrote Bojanov.
The action carried out this evening was not coordinated with the Ministry of the Interior.
“This is not how it is tested – on behalf of the “president”. Has DANS already started to check? And if so – I hope the reference/report is not as illiterate as the one about the machines”, wrote the MP from PP-DB Ivaylo Mirchev, who received a “signal from the president” on his phone.
The mobile operator, whose subscribers received the signal, issued an official statement. It specifies that “during tests of automatic sending of messages from the BG-alert system to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is currently being implemented, a system integrator sent a test message to subscribers, about which we were not notified. We apologize. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused and we trust that the contractor of the system will take the necessary measures so that the public is not disturbed. We will continue to work with the institutions to implement the necessary notification system, insisting on better disclosure procedures.” .
BG-ALERT is a system that notifies about dangers by telephone. Eng. Nikolay Nikolov, a former longtime director of the fire department and adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs, told BTV that the system will be ready by the end of the year.
“Bulgaria has a National Disaster Risk Reduction Program. However, it needs very serious funding. It is easiest for the people from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to press the button and warn. On-site monitoring is the most difficult. Such systems are being built, but there is no country that can boast of a 100% built system,” explained engineer Nikolov some time ago.