Project Managers Tuomo Kinnunen (left) and Risto Ainasoja discuss the renovation of the Niemenmäki civil defense shelter with Deputy Mayor Daniel Sazonov. Next to them is Sazonov's assistant, Jeremias Nurmela. Photo: Helsinki City Fire Department.

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In light of the current global situation, the City of Helsinki has announced a robust initiative to renovate several of its civil defense shelters over the next decade. This plan, revealed during an open house event at the recently upgraded Niemenmäki shelter, underscores the city's commitment to enhanced safety and preparedness.

Deputy Mayor Daniel Sazonov, who spoke at the event, highlighted the timely and crucial nature of these renovations.

"Given the global circumstances, we have accelerated the renovation of multiple shelters to ensure the safety of our citizens," said Sazonov. Following the completion of Niemenmäki's shelter, renovations are set to commence at shelters in Itä-Pasila, Karstulantie, Kulosaari, and Erottaja.

The city has allocated approximately 25 million euros for these projects as part of its 10-year investment program. An additional 500,000 euros have been earmarked for the procurement of civil defense materials this year alone.

Sazonov proudly noted Finland's ongoing commitment to national defense and civil protection. "Our allies and partners come to learn from us. Unfortunately, there is still a demand for such shelters, as civilians are currently subjected to deliberate acts of terror. We are not worried, but we are prepared," he stated.

The Niemenmäki shelter, originally built in 1964 and designed to accommodate up to 2,300 people, represents one of the smaller community shelters in Helsinki. The extensive renovations completed in March 2024 have modernized the facility, ensuring it can effectively serve the local population in times of need.

HT

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