Morning headlines: Wednesday 26th December 2018

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Blood donors needed between Christmas & New Year

The Finnish Blood Service, run by the Red Cross, says it needs people to donate blood between Christmas and New Year. The service needs 800 blood donors every day across the country to treat seriously ill patients, and new donors are needed all the time. Platelets are viable only for five days, and during the holiday season they’re anticipating a drop in the number of people coming forward to make donations so the service is open today and New Years’ Eve. There’s a need for all blood groups over the holiday season, but supplies of A+, A-, O+ and O- are running particularly low. Blood can be donated today in Helsinki, Espoo, Kuopio, Oulu, Tampere and Turku.

Spate of car accidents in central Finland

A spate of car accidents late on Christmas Day and overnight hit various spots around the country. In central Finland, three passenger cars were involved in accidents: in Petäjävesi four people were injured, one with a head wound, when their car went into a ditch; in Jyväskylä woman was injured when her car went off the road and hit a lamppost; and in the early hours of the morning in Pihtipudas three people had a lucky escape uninjured after their car went off the road around 04:30 and ended up in a ditch.

Overnight fire causes €30,000 damage

An overnight fire in Kangasniemi has caused an estimated €30,000 of damage to an apartment. Rescue services received the alarm call in the early hours of the morning when a neighbour alerted them around 03:00. Firefighters arrived to find the first floor flat in flames, and went inside to rescue the occupant who was taken to hospital for treatment. Rescue crews put out the fire and ventilated smoke from the apartment building. This morning they’re investigating the cause of the blaze which was just limited to the one home.

Post-Christmas travel rush starts today

After a few quiet days on Finland’s roads the post-Christmas travel rush begins today, as people start to head home from visiting family and friends over the holidays. The busiest times will be after 12 noon, but there’s no specific warnings in place about road conditions.

Surviving 52 days of Polar Night in Finland’s most northerly village

The Christmas holiday season is a time of lights and colour in the middle of winter darkness, and it’s the same even at the most northerly part of Finland where the sun doesn’t rise. At this time of year in much of Lapland, there’s technically only night time for 52 days in a row. It’s a period known as Polar Night in English, kaamos in Finnish and skábma in the Northern Sámi language, but local residents say it’s not as dark as you might expect. “Living here in kaamos it’s quite awesome. Immediate when the snow comes and when there is a full moon you can see from Finland to the other side of the river to Norway. You can see the trees and everything, it’s not that dark” explains Aslat Jon Länsman, a resident of Finland’s most northerly village Nuorgam, separated from Norway by a river and an international border. Länsman says that when he visits the capital during winter, more than 1300km south of Nuorgam, the darkness can seem worse. Read more about winter life in the far north of Finnish Lapland in our original article here.

Wednesday morning weather

It’s a very cold start to the morning along the western edge of Lapland, with temperatures between -19°C and -16°C. The rest of the country is more mild between zero in Helsinki and the capital city region to -8°C around Oulu. Down the Ostrobothnian coast into Åland, Turku, south west Finland and Hanko the temperatures are up to +4°C. And there’s snow forecast through central Finland on Wednesday morning as well.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 26th December 2018 / Credit: FMI