The Interior Ministry has temporarily activated hotline number 1722 after the Royal Meteorological Institute (KMI/IRM) issued a code yellow alert warning for heavy thunderstorms in Belgium.
Once activated, the phone line for non-emergency fire-service interventions allows people who are experiencing storm and water damages to submit a request for help via the e-counter www.1722.be, or they can call the number 1722.
"The activation of the number 1722 is a precautionary measure when a storm or heavy rain is forecast. The activation of the number does not indicate the seriousness of the warning or the extent of the possible damage," the Interior Ministry told Belga News Agency.
The IRM put out a warning on Twitter, stating that on Thursday "the southern provinces, in particular, should take into account some heavy showers, possibly accompanied by thunderstorms."
Waarschuwing voor onweer van 09/09 15u tot 09/09 23u: Donderdag moeten vooral de zuidelijke provincies rekening houden met enkele hevige buien, mogelijk vergezeld van onweer. De meer noord en ... (https://t.co/sPNybMQZwU) pic.twitter.com/BQj42SXZYC— KMI (@meteobenl) September 9, 2021
Especially during the afternoon, until around 11:00 PM, heavy thunderstorms are expected in the east and southeast of Belgium.
"These showers may lead to precipitation amounts of 10 to 15 l/m² in a very short time and may also be accompanied by hail," IRM warned.
The 1722 line is used to help decongest the 112 emergency number when there is a storm in order to prevent people whose lives may be in danger from having to wait needlessly. The intervention number should only be used in case the fire brigade is needed.