Latvia to test emergency sirens on 17 December

On Friday, 17 December, Latvian State Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) will perform annual checks of the country’s siren system. Sirens will be turned on for three minutes all across Latvia.
«The warning sirens are intended to warn residents of natural or man-made catastrophes or other threats. Information about threats is broadcast using electronic mass media (radio, TV),» says VUGD Civil Protection Office chief, Col. Ivars Nakurts.
«These tests are intended to check the functionality of the early warning system, detect potential technical problems and put to the test the agreement between VUGD and electronic mass media (radio, TV). We test the early warning system every year to make sure we are prepared for emergencies,» said the colonel.
On 17 December sirens in all of Latvia’s regions will be switched on for three minutes between 10:00 and 10:20.
Residents have no reason to be alarmed, as this will be a scheduled siren test. If the siren is not heard during the test, other warning systems will be used, including announcing relevant information via loudspeakers. VUGD urges hotel administrations to inform foreign guests of the planned siren test to avoid a panic.
There are 164 sirens all over Latvia. They were installed in a way to make sure the signal is heard within 1.5 km radius.
The sound of sirens is affected by elevation, urban structures, the noise generated by transports and production facilities, as well as meteorological conditions.
VUGD reminds that if residents miss the reminded regarding the siren test, upon hearing the siren they should turn on their TV set and tune to channels LTV1 and LTV7 or tune in to Latvijas Radio to get information on the reasons for activation of sirens and what they should do.