Police have begun moving hundreds of people stranded on the island of Lesbos into a new temporary tent camp, more than a week after a fire razed Greece’s biggest migrant camp where they had been staying.
The operation, including 70 female officers, was intended to protect public health, police said.
“The operation began with many officers in white body suits. Things are calm and migrants are slowly streaming into the new camp,” a witness said.
The fire that gutted the Moria facility a week ago left more than 12,000 people, mostly refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and various African countries, without shelter, proper sanitation or access to food and water.
Authorities said the fire was started by the camp’s residents. No one was hurt.
The new temporary tent camp at Kara Tepe, near Mytilene port, is ready to take in at least 5,000 people.
Officials said some people were reluctant to move there because they were hoping to leave the island.
Early on Wednesday, only 1,200 had moved but late in the evening, large groups of people carrying their belongings started to arrive.
Government ministers said authorities would continue “for some more days in good faith and communication” to convince people to enter the new camp, saying their transfer would be completed within a few days.