Monday, June 27

Finland has civil shelters capable of withstanding a nuclear attack


HELSINKI, Finland — Blast proof, gas proof and offering protection from radiation and toxic chemicals — Finland takes its network of underground bunkers seriously.

Located about 60 feet underground, this civil shelter in Helsinki can hold up to 6,000 people. Defying expectations of a dark, damp cave; it’s bright, clean and warm, complete with soccer pitch, children’s playground, cafeteria and car park.

There are 5,500 similar bunkers across the city, creating a vast network of underground facilities that have been built since the 1980s.

And although they’re usually used for parking, storage, sporting events and more; their true purpose is more ominous: they are designed to protect those in Finland from an attack.

This civil shelter in Finland is capable of having 6000 people, but the country has a vast network of underground facilities built since the 1980s.

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Speaking to CNBC from inside a bunker, Tomi Rask, a preparedness teacher at Helsinki City Rescue Department, said that all types of weapons had been taken into account when designing the shelters.

“Blast proofing, gas proofing, radiation and toxic chemicals,” he said.

These bunkers also have to be able to be converted and ready for use as defense shelters within 72 hours.

“We need to make room for people that are coming into the shelters and that means that some structures, some objects need to be taken away,” he added.

“But it’s not that we need to [fully] empty the shelter before we can take persons in because in sheltering time, you’ll need to have some form of equipment,” he added, explaining that a car, for example, can provide some private space to a family.

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A floorball court in one of Finland’s civil shelters. In normal times, this underground network is used for several purposes: parking, storage, cultural and sporting events, for example.

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The playground is also considered important during sheltering time, to enable children to let off steam and parents to have a break.

These civilian shelters “might be the one thing that we could give to NATO,” Rask added.

NATO membership


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