Moria Camp in Lesvos reaches staggering 12,000 migrants



Migrants at the Moria Reception and Identification Center in Lesvos island have reached a staggering 12,000 at facilities that are designed to house only up to 3,000, the center’s officials reported on Monday.

The overcrowded camp that is now four times over its limit, was declared "non-manageable" on Friday and new arrivals were turned away after the number of inhabitants at the camp reached 12,000.

However, a government official said another 110 migrants arrived in four boats on Monday and around half of those new arrivals were granted accommodation at the camp while the remainder will have to seek a place to sleep in tents outside the site.

Since midnight Monday, according to the north Aegean Police Directorate, 300 refugees arrived at regional islands, 110 in Lesvos, 77 in Chios and 114 in Samos.

The official who spoke with the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to media also said the decision to let some migrants stay in the camp was made after security and municipal services on the Greek island attended an emergency meeting for several hours Monday.

According to reports, around 100 asylum seekers are scheduled to depart Moria on Wednesday, said Moria officials.

Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos announced on the weekend that the Greek armed forces would provide greater support to island coast patrols but did not give further details.

"Our actions must be planned so that our eyes and ears in the Aegean Sea, surveillance mechanisms and personnel cooperate more intensively to tighten surveillance and possibly deterrence," he said.

While Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to discuss the migrant crisis at meetings this week with U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.