Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 24 November |
Saint of the Day: St. Andrew Dung-Lac and the Martyrs of Vietnam
home iconNews
line break icon

Wildfire breaks out near refugee camps on Greek island of Lesbos

GREECE REFUGEE

Nicolas Economou / NurPhoto / AFP

John Burger - published on 09/24/18

Migrants continue to arrive from war-torn areas of Near East

The Greek island of Lesbos, where Pope Francis visited with refugees from the Near East and Africa in 2016, has seen the outbreak of a wildfire near a camp with thousands of migrants and refugees.

The fire broke out near Camp Moria, where Francis was joined by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in a meeting with refugees two years ago. An estimated 9,000 persons live inside the camp and in makeshift settlements surrounding it.

The fire came a day after Greek authorities began relocating people from the island, away from conditions described by aid groups as overcrowded, unsanitary and dangerous, according to The New York Times.

Hundreds of refugees still arrive on Greek islands daily, according to the United Nations refugee agency. More than half of all new arrivals to Greece during the first eight months of 2018 went to Lesbos, the agency said. The majority are from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, the Times said.

A doctor from the French organization Doctors Without Borders described increasing cases of self-harm and attempted suicides among young migrants.

“These children come from countries that are at war, where they have experienced extreme levels of violence and trauma,” Declan Barry, the medical coordinator in Greece for Doctors Without Borders, said. “Rather than receiving care and protection in Europe, they are instead subjected to ongoing fear, stress and episodes of further violence, including sexual violence.”

Video posted on social media showed plumes of smoke in distant hills and helicopters racing to dump water on the fires. Scream of children in the camp could be heard, suggesting to some that the incident may have brought back dark memories of what they had experienced in their war-torn countries.

Tags:
Refugees
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
UPSET
Theresa Civantos Barber
5 Quotes from the saints to help you deal wit...
Giuseppe Moscati
Larry Peterson
A volcano, a plague, a war: This doctor-saint...
Luz Ivonne Ream
What’s the secret of this couple’s 64 years o...
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio's favorite prayer of petition
MONSTRANCE,GOLD,EUCHARIST
J-P Mauro
Cardinal calls Catholics to attend global Euc...
CHRIST THE KING
Edifa
Why do we say that "Christ is King"?
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.