Monthly Sirens Test Called Off to Avoid Creating Panic

The regular test of public emergency sirens in the Czech Republic will not take place this week, the country’s fire service said on Monday.

It was decided by the Director-General of the Fire and Rescue Service, Vladimír Vlček, because of the situation in Ukraine. He wants to avoid the possible panic that the sirens could cause.

“The reason for this decision is an effort to prevent unwanted panic among the public, also concerning citizens from Ukraine who are seeking safety in the Czech Republic,” the fire service said.

“There are currently 200,000 citizens of Ukraine living in the Czech Republic. Others are fleeing Putin’s aggression to us. We do not want to remind them of the horror they have left in their homes with sirens,“ added Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN), who welcomed the decision.

Ukraine is facing air strikes after being invaded by Russia, among other things, and residents have repeatedly encountered the sound of sirens in recent days.

This is not the first time the regular siren test has been canceled. The sirens remained silent during the floods of 2009 and 2013.

They also did not sound in 2010, during the visit of the US and Russian presidents, and in April, May, and November 2020, during the coronavirus emergency.

The signal for the public is a general alert, which is given by a fluctuating siren tone for 140 seconds and may sound three times in succession at intervals of approximately three minutes. A threat announcement will then be made.

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