Bad weather hampers migrants, authorities
A worsening of weather conditions has created additional problems for migrants and refugees trying to get to Greece by sea from neighboring Turkey and for authorities on the islands trying to accommodate them.
On Lesvos, which has borne the brunt of the influx, but also on Samos and Chios, authorities set up prefabricated structures to house migrants following heavy rain on Wednesday night. On Lesvos, authorities also opened an old indoor municipal swimming pool to host some of the arrivals. Despite the bad weather, many migrants continued to camp out near the island’s main port, eager to board ferries to the mainland.
On Chios, officials opened up regional authority offices and a gymnasium, while authorities on Samos set up 25 prefabricated structures.
On Lesvos, the union representing EKAB ambulance workers drew attention to another problem. The union said it is dealing with 700 incidents per month, as compared to around 250 at the same time last year. An understaffed work force and ambulance fleet has overstretched workers on the island, according to the union head, Costas Sorokos. “The number of refugees is huge and the people arriving on the island are utterly drained and in need of medical assistance,” Sorokos said. “Unfortunately, the inability of EKAB to respond could put lives at risk,” he added.