Loud beeps went off around New Zealand last night as part of a nationwide Civil Defence test.
Texts were sent to about three million cellphones between 6pm and 7pm on Sunday evening, carrying the annual test alert message from the emergency system.
Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency director Sarah Stuart-Black said the system was a vital information channel for warning people if their life, health or property was in danger.
People whose phones are capable of receiving alerts can expect to hear a loud sound when the test happens.
The aim of the test was to reach 50% of mobile phone users. The alert test in November last year reached about a third of mobile phone users.
The emergency alert system has been used five times since it was launched, warning people about problems such as a chemical spill, flying debris and water contamination.