Ophélie Artaud / Photo credit: Estelle Ruiz / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP (Illustration) 4:27 p.m., January 18, 2024

This Friday, a tsunami alert exercise is being organized in the nine departments of the Mediterranean coast.

All those affected will receive, between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., a notification from FR-Alert on their phone.

This is a simple test, aimed at raising awareness among the population.

A life-size test.

This Friday, January 19, between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., all residents of the south of France will simultaneously receive a tsunami alert on their phone.

An exercise organized by the prefecture of the Southern defense and security zone via the FR-Alert system, in the nine departments of the Mediterranean coast.

The Alpes-Maritimes, Var, Bouches-du-Rhône, Gard, Hérault, Aude, Pyrénées-Orientales, Haute-Corse and Corse-du-Sud are affected.

During the exercise, a scale test of #FrAlert is carried out in the coastal areas of 9 departments of the Mediterranean arc.

Am I affected by receiving the message?

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Find out more about this alert and information system

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— Prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes (@prefet06) January 18, 2024

Concretely, people present on the coast will receive a notification accompanied by a specific sound signal, even if their phone is in silent mode, details the website of the Alpes-Maritimes prefecture.

This will allow the authorities to test the FR-Alert system, and to raise awareness among the population about the reflexes to adopt in the event of a proven tsunami risk.

Given that this is an exercise, “receiving this alert does not require any action to be taken or behavior to be adopted,” indicates the prefecture.

A major tsunami in the Mediterranean in the next 30 years, according to UNESCO

Also, state services ask people not to contact law enforcement or emergency services, and not to relay false rumors on social networks.

People who have received the alert will then be invited to complete a feedback questionnaire.

So don't worry if you receive this notification on Friday.

But if this is just an exercise, according to UNESCO, the probability that a wave of more than one meter will break the Mediterranean coasts in the next 30 years is close to 100%.