Thousands of refugees have been made homeless after a fire engulfed Moria, a notoriously overcrowded refugee camp on Greece’s Lesbos Island, where about 13,000 people had been living in a space designed for just under 3,000.
The origin of the fire, which started inside the camp late on Tuesday night and began to spread quickly through the densely packed hillside, remains unclear.
Considerable areas of the sprawling site were burned to cinders, with reports from officials that about 70 percent of containers and tents had been destroyed.
The fire brought fresh tragedy to the residents of the infamous refugee camp, which was under quarantine restrictions due to an outbreak of COVID-19 last week; cases have since been steadily rising.
As of Tuesday, there had been at least 35 confirmed cases in the camp.
In response to the fire, Ylva Johansson, the European Commissioner for Home Affairs tweeted that she had agreed to finance the immediate transfer to the mainland of the remaining 400 unaccompanied children and teenagers, a sum which would include accommodation.
Thousands of refugees slept rough on the Greek island of Lesbos for a second night after the fire razed the country’s largest camp to the ground, sending crowds fleeing but with nowhere to go.
Families slept on roadsides, in supermarket parking lots and in fields across the island, which was at the forefront of the European migrant crisis in 2015-2016.
Tuesday night’s inferno at Moria sent thousands rushing to save their lives, reducing the camp – notorious for its poor living conditions – to a mass of smoldering steel and melted tent tarpaulin.
A second fire broke out on Wednesday night, destroying what little was left.
Meanwhile, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has said it’s willing to take in 1,000 refugees displaced from their homes in the Moria camp. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on other European Union countries to help.
Moreover, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron agreed to a deal that would allow 400 unaccompanied minors from the Greek migrant camp to move to other parts of the European Union, Merkel confirmed on Thursday.
Merkel, whose country currently holds the EU Council presidency, said she agreed to take the unaccompanied minors at the request of the Greek government. She said she hopes other EU countries will agree to take some of kids.

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