ATHENS, Greece – Fire struck again Wednesday night in Greece’s notoriously overcrowded refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, a day after a blaze swept through it and left thousands in need of emergency shelter. The fires caused no injuries, but they renewed criticism of Europe’s migration policy.
Wednesday night’s fires broke out inside the parts of Moria camp that had not burned in the first blaze, sending people streaming from the camp with their belongings, according to an Associated Press photographer in the area.
Later, about 4,000 migrants who had left the camp for the island’s main port of Mytilini to board ships for the mainland threw stones at police blocking the road, and officers responded with tear gas, police said. There were no reports of injuries or arrests. Police said migrants also lit fires in fields near the site of the clashes.
Moria had been under a coronavirus lockdown when the first fire gutted a large section of it, and health officials said some of those who had tested positive for the virus had fled.
“The combination of migration and the pandemic in these conditions is creating an exceptionally demanding situation,” Alternate Migration Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos said. Civil protection authorities declared a four-month state of emergency for public health reasons on Lesbos.