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348,000 people receive alerts after Tallinn ring road accident

The EE-Alarm sent messages to almost 350,000 people.
The EE-Alarm sent messages to almost 350,000 people. Source: ERR

Almost 350,000 people were sent alert messages by Estonia's EE-Alarm notification system on Thursday after an accident on the so-called Tallinn ring road. The Ministry of Interior said the system is in development.

The Police and Board Guard Board (PPA) said the text message was sent to people within a 10-km radius of the 11-vehicle accident which temporarily closed the road.

"We put the focus not at the scene of the accident, but a little bit away from it, so that more of the message recipients were those approaching from the surrounding roads, and not so much the residents of Tallinn," said Taavi Kirss, operations manager of the Northern Prefecture.

The site was very slippery and the Transport Administration's preliminary analysis shows maintenance had not been carried out on the stretch of road.

Kirss said sending the danger message was a good way to warn drivers.

"It is up to the driver to assess the situation, but it is also up to the road owner to think about it. What are their options – today we used EE-Alarm," he said.

The accident on the Tallinn Ring Road on February 8, 2024. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Ministry planning to further develop notification system

Last year, around 500,000 warning messages were sent in Estonia, Kadi Luht-Kallas, adviser at the Ministry of the Interior, told ERR.

This year the ministry has started to develop a system that sends messages in different languages and a notification system will be added to the "Ole Valmis" preparedness app.

By the end of the year, a warning siren network will be in place across Estonia.

In the coming years, the ministry wants to create a flexible notification system that does not depend on a single mode of transmission, Luht-Kallas said.

"A centrally-managed system will be set up to allow the response authority to choose how it informs the public of the threat, depending on the nature of the event," she said.

It is hoped that by 2025, the notification system will also work via the Galileo satellite system for phones in the danger zone.

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Editor: Marko Tooming, Mirjam Mäekivi, Helen Wright

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