The annual testing of Switzerland’s network of 7,200 sirens was only a partial success this year and must be repeated after problems have been corrected, according to officials.
During the testing on February 7th this year a technical problem was discovered in the software used by the centralized system that regulates the alarms, meaning the testing was only a “partial success”, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Population (FPOP) said in a statement
Measures were immediately taken to rectify the problem, and by the evening of that day the system was theoretically working normally, it said. Work has since been carried out to ensure the problem cannot reoccur.
The test will now have to be repeated and is due to take place in the first half of this year. The exact date has not yet been communicated.
Switzerland has around 7,200 sirens across the country which serve as a public warning system in case of national emergency. The system was established during World War Two to warn of bomb threat but is now used to warn of events such as major flooding, an imminent threat or the breakdown of a nuclear power plant.
There are two sirens, one to indicate general disaster and another warning people who live in the vicinity of dams of an impending water-related catastrophe.
The sirens are generally tested once a year in February.