Emergency messages from Twitter to alert users to natural disasters

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A far cry from commenting on Strictly and Kim Kardashian's wardrobe choices, Twitter is to send out emergency alerts against natural disasters.

The social media has launched Twitter Alerts which will issue critical information from organisations such as the US Federal Emergency Management Agency in the event of a crisis situation.

'Today, we're launching Twitter Alerts, a new feature that brings us one step closer to helping users get important and accurate information from credible organizations during emergencies, natural disasters or moments when other communications services aren't accessible,' it said in a blog post.

'Twitter Alerts is a new way to get accurate and important information when you need it most,' it reads.

The opt-in system will send your account notifications to your phone as SMS messages and push notifications when alert tweets are sent. They will also appear differently on your home timeline with an icon of an orange alarm bell, so users can distinguish them from regular tweets.

Currently, more than 100 participating NGOs and government agencies in the U.S., Japan and Korea can send alerts warning of imminent dangers, evacuation procedures and urgent safety alerts, and Twitter plan to expand the service over the coming months.

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