A violent fire that broke out the night before Wednesday has destroyed most of the Greek Moria refugee camp. Located on the island of Lesbos, Moria is the largest refugee camp in the country.
There are no casualties known to the fire department. However, smoke has caused breathing problems for many.
In addition to the residential tents, the fire has destroyed at least the camp administration offices and the camp hospital. The Greek government has declared a state of emergency for the whole island of Lesbos.
– The whole camp is on fire. Everything is back. People are fleeing. Their homes in Moria are gone, Stand by Me Lesbos, a refugee support organization, is tweeting.
The cause of the fire has not been established, but according to the Greek government, the authorities are investigating allegations that the fire was arson. According to the Greek news agency ANA, the firefighters are possibly residents of the camp who are rebelling against the corona insulation imposed on them. Rescuers also said attempts were made to prevent them from entering the camp at night, AFP news agency reported.
Moria’s refugee camp has long been too full and conditions are poor. Iltalehti wrote about the conditions of the camp in February. At the time of the fire, the camp accommodated more than 12,000 people, whose resettlement was a government spokesman Stelios Petsas describes it as a “giant challenge”.
The state of emergency caused by the fire is also a cause for concern because the coronavirus epidemic has begun to spread rapidly in the camp in recent days. According to the latest information, there were 35 infections in the camp.
Police have done their best to stop refugees fleeing the camp to the port city of Mytilín to prevent the virus from spreading uncontrollably to the rest of the population.