We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

People react at Brussels Airport this morning. Associated Press
contact home

Facebook has activated its Safety Check feature in Brussels

Phone problems are being reported in the Belgian capital. A helpline number for Irish people has also been issued.

FACEBOOK HAS ACTIVATED its Safety Check feature to allow people caught up in the Brussels blasts to let friends and loved ones know they’re okay.

It comes in the wake of explosions at the airport and at a Metro station this morning.

At least 21 people are feared dead in the twin blasts.

The Safety Check can be accessed here and the Department of Foreign Affairs phoneline is 00 353 (1) 418 0200.

exp1Source: Facebook

The Facebook feature allows people in the affected area to check in and let their Facebook friends know they're online.

It allowed thousands of people to get in touch in the wake of the Paris terror attacks last November. That was the first time it was used in the aftermath of a non-natural disaster related incident.

Phone problems 

Problems with the phone network are being reported in Brussels this morning following the blasts. Many calls has been placing to people on mobile phones in Brussels are going straight to voicemail, or simply meeting with no response.

A reporter with Bloomberg (below) writes "cell phone providers reporting congestion. Appeal to clients to use data messaging rather than calls not to hinder emergency calls". 

The Department of Foreign Affairs has said it is receiving updates from the embassy in Belgium, where staff are working with local authorities.

Further updates on the situation are expected from the Department later this morning. The official advice for Irish travellers in Belgium has also been updated:

"Any Irish citizens in Belgium should exercise extreme caution and closely follow the instructions of the local authorities.

Current indications are that public transport in Brussels will be closed until further notice, and Brussels airport will be closed until 23 March. Further updates to this information will be placed here at a later date.

The Department phoneline for anyone with concerns about family and friends to call is 00 353 (1) 418 0200.

Latest: Updates from Brussels >  

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.