Moria migrants: Greek ships to help shelter 13,000 after fire

Greece is sending three ships to help house thousands of migrants sleeping rough on the island of Lesbos after fire destroyed their overcrowded camp.

For a second night families slept on roads, and in fields and car parks after fleeing Moria camp, where about 13,000 had been living in squalor.

A blaze engulfed Moria camp on Tuesday night, then another wiped out any remaining tents on Wednesday.

About 400 teenagers and children have been flown to mainland Greece.

The Greek authorities say a ferry is on its way to provide shelter, along with two naval vessels. Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi said about 2,000 people would be temporarily sheltered aboard the ships.

But he also said authorities were working to provide emergency accommodation near the devastated Moria camp site.

Mr Mitarachi said tensions had been running high in the camp because a 15-day quarantine had been imposed after a migrant tested positive for coronavirus last week.

By Wednesday, 35 people linked to the camp had tested positive for coronavirus, and there is concern on Lesbos now that most of them need to be urgently located.

Caroline Willeman, the Moria co-ordinator for medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), told the BBC that “they had initially been isolated, but of course in the chaos of the last two days they have once again been dispersed within the wider community”.

“We had been told last night that eight out of the 35 cases had again been located and isolated.”