Wien, 9. November 2012 Press release

Foreign Ministry practices for consular emergency

Vienna, 09 November 2012 – An emergency drill with 50 people was carried out at the Austrian Foreign Ministry today. The emergency drill was watched by international observers. The assumed crisis scenario was a strong earthquake (6.9 on the Richter scale) along the Jordan Valley, with an epicentre at the western edge of the Dead Sea, with massive effects on Israel, parts of Lebanon and Jordan.

This crisis scenario was chosen because this region is very popular with Austrian holiday-makers. Several thousand Austrians travel there every year, and more than 7000 Austrians are officially registered with the Austrian embassies in Tel Aviv, Beirut and Amman.

The emergency response procedures were tailored to this scenario. These involved starting up the call centre and an "emergency hotline" with some 20 working connections and the worldwide unique NEW contact database. Based on these channels and the lists of Austrians registered with the embassies in the disaster area, a first overview of the number and location of Austrians concerned was established and a first emergency response plan was drawn up.

Contact:
Federal Ministry for
European and International Affairs
Press Department
Tel.: ++43 (0) 50 1150-3262, 4549, 4550
Fax: ++43 (0) 50 1159-213
e-mail: abti3(at)bmeia.gv.at