A representative of the municipality said that the problems with cellular communication became the main reason of the lack of awareness around many people. Emergency services and the municipality were able to notify only a small part of the citizens. Only some Alonsa-area residents received an alert for an impending tornado.
Cellphone push alerts are the main information channel in case of emergency weather events. Environment Canada has received a warning at 8:17 p.m. After 13 minutes, the tornado flew over Alonsa, Silver Ridge, and Margaret Bruce Beach area. As a result of the disaster, a 77-year-old man died. According to the comments of Natalie Hasell, a warning preparedness meteorologist, problems with communication have deprived the municipality and emergency services of the opportunity to inform the citizens in time. As a result, many Manitobans learned about approaching tornado on TV or going out into the yard of their house. Fortunately, the tornado did not cause significant damage.
Communication quality revision has revealed new nuances. The base cellular towers near Amaranth and Ebb were in disconnected condition for six weeks before weather phenomenon, due to the planned equipment improvement. The frequency range of the LTE Advanced network indirectly affects the signal quality. A spokesman for Bell MTS said that the company is working to resolve this issue.
At the moment, cellular operators and the government are working together to improve the signal quality. Communication towers are reprogrammed in order not to create a frequency conflict. New software settings will work within a week. At the moment, all residents are informed of the planned service work. The municipality instructed the population of Manitoba in case of weather disasters a recurrence .