A delay in phone notifications during an Amber Alert on Sunday is being blamed on a “tech issue” with the National Public Alerting System, according to the Saskatchewan government.
The Amber Alert for a six-year-old girl who was abducted in North Battleford was issued around 7:30 p.m. and successfully broadcast on radio and T.V.
However, it wasn’t until approximately 10:30 p.m. that phones across Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba started to buzz and alarm with the alert.
A statement issued by Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Government Relations said the alert had been sent for wireless notification right away.
“It did not go through immediately due to a text issue related to the National Public Alerting System,” the statement said.
Provincial officials were told the technical issue was being “looked into” and it wasn’t addressed and rectified until three hours later.
Instead of the phone overriding alert, users with the SaskAlert mobile app received a notification at 8:30 p.m.
“The province is working with the National Public Alerting System service provider to prevent this issue from happening in the future,” the statement said.
Officials directed further inquiries to Pelmorex, the company that handles national alerts.
The National Public Alerting System came into effect in May, when province-by-province tests had mixed results — some users received delayed notifications or none at all.