Thousands Flee Fire at Notorious Greek Migrant Camp of Moria



Moria camp was mostly destroyed by the fire. Credit: Thanasis Voulgarakis @th.v

Thousands of migrants fled the overcrowded camp at Moria, on the Greek island of Lesvos, after multiple fires gutted much of the site early on Wednesday.

The severely-overcrowded camp, home to more than 12,000 migrants and refugees, was under COVID-19 lockdown in recent days after a cluster of cases were detected there. On Tuesday, health authorities announced there were a total of 35 cases at Moria.

Firefighters said there were “scattered fires” around and inside the camp, which has a nominal capacity for fewer than 2,800 people. However, they could confirm reports that the blaze was started by migrants who were angry at being placed under quarantine.

On Wednesday morning the camp appeared completely destroyed.

#MORIA FIRES / 03:17AMIt's close and coming to burn our WHF school too…😭

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“The fire spread inside and outside of the camp and has destroyed it … There are more than 12,000 migrants being guarded by police on a highway,” Stratos Kytelis, mayor of the island’s main town, Mytlinene, told Skai Radio.

“It is a very difficult situation because some of those who are outside will include people who are positive (for the coronavirus).”

Posted by Mamdou Safaei on Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Thousands, including women with babies, children, the elderly, the sick, and the disabled, fled in panic, carrying some of their possessions.

Most took refuge in the hills and the countryside overlooking Moria, while some attempted to walk towards the town of Mytilene, capital of Lesvos.

Police forces blockaded the highway towards Mytilene to prevent migrants fleeing to the town.

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Posted by LesvosPost.com on Tuesday, September 8, 2020