Moria hotspot’s population reaches 5,700, following 294 new arrivals

The refugees and migrants housed in the Reception and Identification Centre in Moria, Lesvos reached 5,700 on Wednesday – well over the camp’s nominal capacity of 3,000 residents – after 294 new arrivals landed on the island’s shores overnight.

Between midnight and 8:00 on Wednesday morning, the Greek coast guard and Frontex mounted eight operations to rescue people at risk in their attempt to make the crossing from Turkey in plastic dinghies.

Local authorities are especially concerned because the Turkish coast guard officially announced on its website that it had mounted no operations in the Aegean during the same period.

According to official figures, the number of migrants and refugees reaching the islands of the northern Aegean in March, not including the latest arrivals, was 884 on Lesvos, 327 on Samos and 58 on Chios.

The latest arrivals have placed particular strain on the overstretched facilities at the Moria camp, with authorities expressing concern over what may happen if current higher flows to Lesvos continue, especially in light of expected staff shortages over the Easter holiday period.