French govt app took almost 2 hours to alert public to Nice attack

A smartphone with the logo of the SAIP app, on June 8, 2016.
A smartphone with the logo of the SAIP app, on June 8, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

An app launched by the French government last month to help alert the public in cases of terror attacks has been criticised in the wake of the Nice attack, with users complaining that they received an alert on the incident some two hours after it happened, French media reported.

Many people posted on social media that they received an alert at 1.34am - more than 1½ hours after a truck slammed into a crowd celebrating the French national day in the French Riviera city of Nice on Thursday, killing at least 84 people, Le Monde said on Friday (July 15).

A 31-year-old French-Tunisian citizen who was driving the 19-tonne truck was shot dead by police.

The SAIP app was created after France suffered its worst terror attack on Nov 13 last year, when extremists killed 130 people in coordinated attacks in Paris.

It is supposed to send warnings within 15 minutes, said Le Monde, but it is up to the local authorities when to trigger an alert.