As the number of refugees and migrants trapped on Greece’s islands officially rose to nearly 12,000 Monday, concern is mounting regarding overcrowding at camps.
At the country’s main island of entry from Turkey, Lesvos, official figures put the number of people at the hot spot in Moria and at an open facility at Kara Tepe at 5,059, which is twice the facilities’ capacity. Another 124 migrants who landed on the island Monday were allowed to camp at the port after staff at Moria – an official camp set up in cooperation with European authorities to process all new arrivals – said they could not take in anymore arrivals.
Locals say that overcrowding and long delays in processing have resulted in increased tensions and frustration among the camps’ residents, leading to a spike in clashes between different ethnic groups and also in crime in the main town, Mytilene.
On the island of Chios, there are currently 3,221 migrants and refugees even though it only has one organized facility designed to accommodate 1,100. On Kos, a facility for 1,000 people is hosting 1,242, and on Samos, a hot spot for 850 is feeding, housing and processing 1,341.
According to official figures, the number of migrants awaiting processing on Greece’s islands stood at 11,690 Monday morning.