It is with the utmost dismay that the Federal Council has received the news about one of the biggest earthquakes in Japan’s history, and the resulting tsunami. It is too soon to assess the full extent of this disaster, but the first series of images indicate that widespread destruction has to be feared.
Switzerland wishes to express its sincerest condolences to the government and people of Japan. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs has offered emergency aid to Japan, and the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit is standing by to deploy a team of experts immediately upon request. The question of which form of aid would be most urgently required is currently being clarified. Swiss Humanitarian Aid is also closely monitoring the impacts of the tsunami in other countries at risk, particularly the Philippines and Indonesia.
The Swiss embassy in Tokyo is currently endeavouring to contact Swiss nationals in the affected regions, but since telephone lines are either out of service or overloaded, this is proving to be a difficult task. At present there are no reports that Swiss nationals are among the casualties. The FDFA is taking steps to increase the number of available embassy personnel.
Address for enquiries:
For further information:
FDFA Information, phone +41 31 322 31 53