Ministers last night confirmed the date for the first nationwide test of the UK’s ‘armageddon alert’ system.

As revealed by the Sunday Mirror last week, millions of people across the UK will hear a loud alarm from their mobile phones, along with a test alert message on Sunday April 23.

The system - modelled after similar schemes in the US, Canada, the Netherlands and Japan - is intended to be used in situations such as flooding and wildfires.

It will initially focus on the most serious severe weather-related events, with the ability to get a message to 90% of mobile users within the relevant area in an emergency.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden said: "We are strengthening our national resilience with a new emergency alerts system, to deal with a wide range of threats - from flooding to wildfires.

"It will revolutionise our ability to warn and inform people who are in immediate danger, and help us keep people safe."

He added: "As we've seen in the US and elsewhere, the buzz of a phone can save a life."

People who do not wish to receive the alerts will be able to opt out in their device settings, but officials hope the life-saving potential of the messages means that users will keep them on.

2023-03-19T00:08:58Z dg43tfdfdgfd