Bad weather ham­pers mi­grants, author­i­ties

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

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.

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