Belgium’s Interior Department on Saturday activated the 1722 hotline, dedicated to calls about storm and water damage, following a warning by the Royal Meteorological Institute, IRM, of extreme weather conditions later in the day.
A zone of heavy downpours and thunderstorms will pass through Belgium on Saturday afternoon and evening, according the IRM. The showers could be extremely heavy in some areas, with precipitations of over 20 l/m2 in six hours possible in some cases, it warned.
The warning is valid for all provinces.
In the event of storm or water damage requiring the intervention of the fire service, a request for assistance can be submitted electronically at www.1722.be or a call can be made to 1722. Emergency number 112 should only be dialled for life-threatening situations.
“When you call 1722, the operators of the 112 emergency centres take the call then transmit the request to the fire service,” the Interior Department stated in a press release. “They take calls to the 1722 number on different telephone lines from the 112 to be able to first process the more urgent calls on 112, such as people with heart attacks or whose houses are on fire. If your emergency zone has an electronic portal, you can also use it.”
For requests for assistance via the www.1722.be site, the requester first needs to input his/her details and commune, after which the site will forward the request to the emergency zone concerned. The website can also redirect requests to the electronic portal of the local fire service.
“A request sent via the electronic portal is treated in the same way by the fire service as a request made by calling 1722, so you will not be assisted faster by calling 1722,” the Interior Department explained.