Tuesday, 15 May 2018

SWI swissinfo.ch: Swiss government uncoordinated in terror simulation exercise

Front page - SWI swissinfo.ch

Stress test
Swiss government uncoordinated in terror simulation exercise

This content was published on May 11, 2018 3:14 PMMay 11, 2018 - 15:14
mock attack on the UN HQ in Geneva in 2015

Swiss police train for emergencies, like this mock attack on the UN HQ in Geneva in 2015, but seldom multiple incidents.

A simulation of terrorist acts that included a hostage situation at the United Nations, an attack on a railway station and a potential nuclear radioactive leak revealed lack of coordination at the federal government level.

The complex scenario was carried out on November 16 last year to test the response of the federal government, as well as the cantons of Geneva and Bern. The government was confronted with a potential radioactive leak at the Mühleberg nuclear power station in canton Bern, a terrorist attack at the Eaux-Vives station in Geneva causing numerous deaths and injuries, and a hostage situation at the Geneva headquarters of the United Nations.

The report on the reaction of the authorities was released this week and revealed by the Swiss national broadcaster RTS. Results were very mixed, according to the report published by the Federal Chancellery. The report says there was a lack of coordination among all participants, mainly due to the lack of an overall understanding of the situation. Over-reliance on unreliable information and confusion stemming from different versions of events resulted in "ambiguities and uncertainties". It also took seven hours for the Federal Council's crisis response group to be set up and to meet, causing significant delays in decision-making.

The report also notes a lack of communication between the federal government and the canton of Geneva, which led to misunderstandings and delays. The document says there were problems of understaffing in some teams and some staff members who did not know what to do in the situation.

The report lists ten recommendations. In particular, it urges the authorities to rethink the organisation of crisis management at federal level and to clarify certain processes and responsibilities. The implementation of these recommendations will be reviewed in 2019 in a new exercise.

Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line
swissinfo EN

The following content is sourced from external partners. We cannot guarantee that it is suitable for the visually or hearing impaired.

Join us on Facebook!
subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.
Email address
Top stories (weekly)
Latest news (daily)
Business (weekly)
Politics (weekly)
Society (weekly)
Fintech (monthly)

Click here to see more newsletters
Comment on this article:
Log In

Write a comment...
Related Stories
Warning measure
Emergency water alarm sirens fail in annual test run

The annual water alarm siren test, meant to signal an accident in areas lying just below dams, was unsuccessful in most Swiss cantons. The general ...
1 There is one comment on this article.


atomic mushroom cloud
Always be prepared
How ready is Switzerland for a nuclear disaster?
By Julie Hunt

“Considering recent threats such as North Korea, are there any proposed changes to bomb shelter laws?"
5 There are 5 comments on this article.


See in other languages: 8
Emergency response
Rescue teams take part in Geneva quake simulation

Search-and-rescue specialists from Switzerland, Germany, France and Britain have been taking part in an earthquake simulation exercise in Geneva.



    The company | Partnerships | Imprint | Jobs | Play SWI | Newsletter subscription | Contact

Back to top
World partners:

    Radio Netherlands Worldwide | Radio Canada International | Radio Praha | Polskie Radio

    RTS | SRF | RSI | RTR | SWI

Front page - SWI swissinfo.ch
swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

No comments: