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Greek Civil Protection launches <112> Emergency Number. Got Message? (UPD)

Greeks were surprised on Saturday noon to receive warning messages by the Greek Civil Protection. After years of delay, the European Emergency number <112> was finally set in operation even though not in full but as as intermediate solution, so far.

The message came per SMS and was in Greek. It was urging citizens to avoid actions that could spark fires outdoors due to extreme high risk of wild and forest fires on Sautrday.

For whatever reasons, though, the message kept coming in half an hour intervals and some receivers complained about it on social media.

Others were simply …. scared, as they stated.

The reiteration of the message might have been a program failure, the Civil Protection has not made any relevant announcement so far.


After many citizens complained about the repeated messages, the Civil Protection issued a clarification late on Saturday saying:

The number of messages on recipient receives, depends on the movements of each citizen in the last 24 hours, before the warning SMS is sent, and the number of mobile antennas that have detected his signal.

For example, if a citizen had moved from yesterday [Friday] until today [Saturday], at least marginally in three different regional units (regions) and his cellphone signal was detected by three different antennas, then he is expected to receive three messages.”

Nevertheless, the implementation of the European Emergency Number is a mid-term solution expected to go in full operation towards the end of the year.

For the time being, disaster warnings are sent via SMS and CBS (Cell Broadcast).

According to the general Secretary of the Civil Protection, NIkos Hardalias, CBS can automatically update all mobiles in an area where, for example, the population at risk. “But because the messages must have a specific schedule, they wil also be sent by SMS so that full coverage is available,” he said.

Warning messages via <112> will be sent to all citizens across the country 24 hours a day, seven days a week, when necessary.

At the same time, a citizen information campaign is to be launched in the coming period on how to regulate the mobile phones that have not downloaded the CBS messaging program so that they can receive  the notifications.

When the <112> program will go into full operation, messages can be received on landline phones too.

It should be emphasized that in any case, citizens have the opportunity to call for help or to report emergencies to <112>.

The automatic location of the calling phone has not yet been completed, it is expected to happen in the final phase of <112> operation. However, the GCP can already locate mobile phones in cooperation with mobile phones operators.

It is recalled that the ‘mid-term solution’, which will be implemented until the end of the year when the Emergency project goes to full operation, is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The General Secretariat for Civil Protection is ready to send messages to whatever cell phones are within the areas of interest to protect citizens from natural disasters.

Last month, it was said that messages will be issued also in languages other than Greek, in due time.

We want your feedback on the issue – the Three Polls are only for foreign nationals living or currently in Greece. Please, do not respond, if you live abroad.

Did you receive the Civil Protection Warning on mobile?

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Was the Civil Protection Warning in Greek?

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Were you in Athens or other "extreme risk" (map) area?

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PS Thank you!

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  1. Map is too small to tell if I was in a risk area so unable to answer this question.

    I do not have a smart phone but an older mobile that doesn’t have internet access. How can I download a program on this? Many Greek people still use older phones too. Will we be excluded from this initiative?

    • keeptalkinggreece

      extreme risk are the red areas. No idea about the tech questions. sorry.

    • If you hold down Ctrl and click repeatedly on the + key it will expand the whole page. You can get back to normal by holding down Ctrl and repeatedly clicking the – key

  2. I received both sms and forced on my screen (I don’t remember what it’s called). The last one was in both Greek and English. The sms only in Greek.

  3. My daughter got the message 12 times over a few hours without moving out of her room. I got it twice while I was in the kitchen.