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Media to help dispatch disaster alerts

The government is teaming up with media to boost the national warning system for natural disasters.

Official alerts for incidents such as radioactive leaks or flooding will now be broadcast quickly on radio and television when there is a serious risk to the population. Public and private broadcasting stations will be obliged to air alerts.

Alerts will be delivered everywhere with the same text, visuals and audio. The government said early warning could prevent or reduce damage.

In recent years flooding and storms have caused serious damage and injuries.

Alerts are issued by weather, earthquake and avalanche services but from 2012 will be given out by the National Emergency Operations Centre.

The new system builds on Switzerland’s 8,500 mobile and stationary civil defence sirens, which are believed to reach almost all of the population. The sirens are tested once a year in February. 

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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