Sirens turned off near refugee centres



Throughout the Netherlands on every first Monday of the month, the national alarm sirens are tested at noon sharp. It startles the odd tourist and you do get used to it as a resident. However, for the first time ever, the sirens were turned off last Monday in towns like Schagen and Tubbergen in order not to traumatise any refugees who would fear it signalled a bombardment.

On certain holidays the sirens aren’t tested either, but this is really a special case aimed at lowering the stress of Syrian refugees. It’s nice to hear something empathic in a country that has had groups of people committing violence against refugees and publishing a lot of baseless xenophobic rants.

Earlier this year we told you about the national alarms that will be phased out in 2017 by replacing them with a text message service. Until that happens, there will still be sirens going off.

(Link:, Photo of Air raid siren by Tim Geers, some rights reserved)

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