Angela Merkel red-faced as nationwide emergency drill FAILS prompting ridicule

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For the first time in 30 years Germany conducted the state-wide test of civil alarm systems designed to inform people what to do in case of an emergency. Tens of thousands of sirens in all corners of the nation sounded at 11am while push notifications were sent to people’s smartphones.

But the trial was hit by widespread reports of difficulties, with many people saying they either did not receive a notification at all or it was delayed.

Politicians and members of the public took to Twitter to ridicule the planned test on Warntag, or Warning Day.

Joana Cotar, a member of parliament for the Alternative for Germany party, said “Nothing works anymore.”

She included the hashtag #MerkelGermany in her tweet in a jab at the German Chancellor.

Katrin Langensiepen, an MEP and member of the Green Party, noted the “silence of the sirens” in her area.

And a popular TV show, Extra 3, tweeted a video of alarms to replace the sirens which failed to go off.

The TV show tweeted: “Did you also not hear anything during the nationwide test alarm?

“We’ve got some sirens for you right here.”

And German journalist Jan Hauser simply said: “I cannot hear you #Warntag2020.”

Others claimed sirens in their area had failed to go off and they did not receive any notification via phone.

One person tweeted: “Luckily we were informed beforehand about Warntag.

“Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known that it took place.”

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A second wrote: “All of my gadgets warned me today at the same time that I have an appointment at the hairdressers.

“None said anything about Warntag.

“At least my hair is prepared if there ever is a zombie apocalypse.”

The test was carried out by the federal office for civil protection and disaster relief (BBK) to prepare Germans for a catastrophe.

Efforts were made in advance to inform schools, care centres and shelters housing refugees about the timed alarm trial.

Christoph Unger, president of the BBK, said: “We have a very unprepared population.

“It’s not like during the Cold War when you could find an explanation for the warning signals on the back of the Yellow Pages.”

A spokeswoman for the office said staff were “aware that it in part didn’t work” and acknowledged “there were delays due to an overload of the modular warning system”.

She said the BBK would work to improve the existing systems.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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