The Dutch were given a frightening lesson about society's reliance on technology. A major telecommunications outage knocked Netherland's version of 911 offline for a few hours on Monday, reported Reuters. The outage originated on Royal KPN's network and impacted both landlines and mobile phones. It's unclear what caused the event, though KPN has ruled out a security breach. The network went offline at around 3:45 pm in the Netherlands, and was restored roughly four hours later.
Public officials immediately flocked to social media to warn Dutch residents of the outage. In case an emergency hit, people were instructed to go to the nearest hospital or fire station directly rather than call a dispatch operator. Temporary mobile phone numbers were soon given out for emergency services. Police could even be reached by email or Whatsapp. Other emergency services in the country asked residents to reach out to them on Twitter or Facebook.