A fire in a notoriously overcrowded refugee camp on Lesbos island, Greece, has rendered thousands of people homeless. The Moria camp had been designed to house 3000 refugees but Al Jazeerah reports 13 000 had been living there.
It’s as yet unclear how the fire, which quickly spread through the camp late Tuesday night, had started. According to Al Jazeerah, a vast area of the camp was burned to cinders, with about 70 percent of containers and tents destroyed in the blaze.
Camp residents fled grabbing any belongings they could, many, with nothing.
Afghan, Mohammad Hanif Joya, said, “We saved only the children and ourselves, all our clothes and belongings were burned in the fire.” Joya said they had no food or water.
According to Al Jazeerah, unconfirmed reports read that police blockades prevented residents of the gutted camp from moving to the town of Mytilene. Joya, meanwhile said, He added, “Everyone is on the road under the scorching sun.”
To add to concerns, the Moria camp had been under quarantine restrictions due to an outbreak of COVID-19 last week. Al Jazeerah reports that there had been at least 35 confirmed cases in the camp.
Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs tweeted that she had agreed to finance the immediate transfer to the mainland, and accommodation of, 400 unaccompanied children and teenagers who had been residents of Moria.
Faris al-Jawad from Doctors Without Borders said there was still no clarity on whether there were any injuries or deaths. He said, “It’s fair to say that after five years of trapping people in barbaric and inhumane conditions, at some point something like this was inevitable.
A peaceful demonstration was reportedly planned by residents of the camp for this afternoon.
Umm Muhammed Umar