Migrants were rendered homeless after a Greek camp fire


On Tuesday, September 9, an Afghan child relaxes after a fire at the Moria migrant camp.

Byron Smith / Getty Images

Updated 2334 GMT (0734 HKT) September 11, 2020

On Tuesday, September 9, an Afghan child relaxes after a fire at the Moria migrant camp.

Byron Smith / Getty Images

The Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, was left in ruins on Tuesday 9 September after a massive fire at the site.

The camp was home to an estimated 13,000 people, more than six times its maximum capacity of 2,200 people. It was the largest expatriate camp in Europe.

Greek officials say a new camp is being set up to accommodate the homeless. But in the meantime, many people are sleeping on the side of the road, at gas stations, and even in nearby cemeteries.

Migrants say they wait hours to use the bathroom and sometimes spend the entire day for food.

“It’s very frustrating,” said photographer Byron Smith, who has been documenting the story since the fire broke out. “I want to call myself some kind of problem-solver, where I have an idea of ​​how things can work in an ideal world. I don’t know how you solve this problem.”

Army helicopters have been carrying tents and other supplies to the new temporary camp. But Smith said many migrants are not sure what happens next.

“They don’t know who to talk to there,” Smith said on Friday. “There seems to be an information gap between the government and the people. It seems chaotic right now, although it is peaceful at the moment.”

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