Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis on Monday pointed to the General Secretariat Civil Protection (GSCV) as responsible for sending messages on possible emergencies, after no alerts were sent to warn on the large blaze which broke out in a suburb of Athens.
The fire, which started in Peania shortly after midnight on Sunday, raced up the slopes of Mount Hymettus, which separates the suburb from the main city.
Local residents were alerted by policemen to evacuate the area and were told to ring doorbells to alert their neighbors.
By Monday morning, a large fire fighting force had brought the fire under control.
“The GSCV is the only competent authority to handle the system. We developed it in cooperation with the experts – the authority will decide…to whom the message must be sent and what the message will be. They decided to use more traditional means,” he told broadcaster SKAI.
Asked about the multiple messages sent to mobile phones on Saturday’s SMS test, Pierrakakis attributed it to the numerous telecommunication towers in Attica whose coverage overlaps.