Fire 'destroys' Europe's largest migrant camp on Lesbos

Moria, Europe's largest migrant camp, has been "completely destroyed" after massive fires broke on Wednesday at the overcrowded site on Greek island, Lesbos.

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Thousands of asylum seekers left homeless

Greece's Lesbos island was plunged into crisis Wednesday after thousands of asylum seekers were left homeless from a huge fire that gutted the country's largest and most notorious migrant facility, Moria camp.

Over 12,000 men, women and children had overnight fled in panic out of their containers and tents into nearby olive groves and fields as the fire destroyed most of the overcrowded, squalid camp.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Rescue operation underway

Fire engines were rushed to the camp in the early hours of the day where migrants were seen standing outside with their luggage in hand. All the migrants were escorted out of the camp to a safe place.

 

(Photograph:AFP)

Assistance on its way

The UN refugee agency said it had deployed staff to assist Greek authorities, noting that there were over 4,000 children among the displaced in addition to pregnant women and elderly people.

Norway on Wednesday offered to take in 50 Syrians from Moria, though Greece has currently banned the camp's former residents from leaving the island.

An exception will be made for the 400 minors, a migration ministry source told state agency ANA.

(Photograph:AFP)

Emergency

The civil protection agency declared a four-month emergency for the island of 85,000 people and Germany urged EU states to take in the camp's survivors.

(Photograph:AFP)

Overcrowded

The Moria camp, built to hold fewer than 2,800 people, has been routinely criticised by rights groups and the UN refugee agency for a lack of sanitation and overcrowding.

(Photograph:AFP)

German parliament protest

As a symbol of protest against the terrible situation of the Greek migrant camps, four groups got together and placed 13,000 chairs outside the German parliament building in Berlin, Germany.

(Photograph:AFP)

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