TERRIFIED doomsday “preppers” are flocking to underground bunkers capable of withstanding meteor strikes, gas attacks and bomb explosions – as Putin warns Europe could be targeted with warheads.
The “nuclear hardened” homes have become so popular in the US that plans have been drawn to build more bunker communities in Germany, South Korea and Australia.
Vivos IT worker Tom Souslby, who fears civil unrest could destroy society soon, stands outside his bunker in South Dakota, in the US
Vivis xPoint bunkers in the midwest of America have been converted to house 5,000 people
Survival Condo Project Doomsday ‘preppers’ have become so worried about the end of the world that they are heading underground to survive
EPA Putin has threatened to point nukes at the US during his state-of-the-nation address yesterday
Those fearing the end of the world can choose between $25,000 bargain bunkers or splash out on luxury $3million fortified compounds to help survive nuclear fallout or natural disasters.
Experts tracking the so-called “prepper” movement say it is now a mainstream part of society as concerns of pending apocalypse grip the western world.
The growing concern comes as Russian president Vladimir Putin vowed to target US and Europe with nukes if Donald Trump deploys intermediate range missiles to the EU.
Milton Torres, 42, is the first doomsday prepper to pack up his life and permanently move to a remote underground bunker in the Midwest of the US.
Worried Milton waved goodbye to his old life as a biomedical engineer to settle in to Vivos xPoint – a community of 575 bunkers in South Dakota designed to house 5,000 people.
He spent $25,000 for a 200-square-metre bunker in the former army munitions site.
It’s a steal – especially when compared to a house that won’t survive a meteor strike.Doomsday Prepper Milton Torres
The building can survive water, air and gas penetration, as well as significant internal and external explosions.
He told ABC news: “I don’t even know what is real or not anymore.
“They have us so confused, but they don’t want to panic the people about what’s happening.
“You think the government is going to save you? If you think that, good luck.”
Milton says his bunker is a bargain, adding: “It’s a steal – especially when compared to a house that won’t survive a meteor strike.”
His new neighbour, IT worker Tom Soulsby, shares concerns that the end of the world is on the horizon.
The bunker is “resilient enough so that if civil unrest occurs I can button up there and be safe,” he explained.
Tom added: “We’ve seen in the last few years how fragile our infrastructure is and how little disruption it takes to disturb our lives.
“Look at Hurricane Harvey two years ago – some of those people still aren’t home.”
Anthropologist Dr Chad Huddleston has been tracking the doomsday prepper movement for years, saying it has now entered mainstream society.
He said: “Preppers want to keep up their standard of living, even though the outside world might be burning.
“Those who can afford it think that at least they and their family will emerge unscathed from their bunker after an event.”
Bunker builder Robert Vicino owns the Vivos Group, which has set up three doomsday communities in the US in the past ten years – and plans to open more in Germany, South Korea and Australia.
He said: “Our locations can hold up to 10,000 like-minded people all carrying guns in an area three-quarters the size of Manhattan,” he says.”They become their own army, because that’s the nature of survival.”
Not only do bunkers offer residents protection from nuclear war and other catastrophic events, they also provide luxury facilities for those locked inside.
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Survival Condos owner Larry Hall said: “Our luxury nuclear hardened bunker full-floor unit is the most requested offering.
“This is a 1,840-square-feet condominium that has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and luxury finishes that sell for $3million.”
Shared features include an organic hydroponic and aquaculture food production system, a bar and lounge, pool and spa, digital weather station, and an indoor shooting range.
Survival Condo Project Community members Michael and Megan Gembala, left, talk with Vivos owner Robert Vicino inside their bunker
Vivos Milton Torres, 42, was the first person to move into the Vivos xPoint community
Survival Condo bunkers offer preppers a range of luxury facilities including swimming pools
Survival Condo / Larry Hall Richer apocalypse survivors can enjoy a bar, lounge, pool and spa, and indoor shooting range
Survival Condo / Larry Hall Other features include a climbing wall so underground preppers can keep fit during nuclear fallout in the outside world
Billionaire bunkers can sell for as much as $3million
Other mock up images of life inside more expensive bunkers show pool tables and stylish wooden decor
Photos of the outside world are said to stop residents feeling cooped up inside their bunkers
EPA Bunker communities like this one in South Dakota will begin to pop up around Europe and other continents, according to developers
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