Thousands of migrants have fled Moria, one of the main camps on the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos, after reportedly setting fire to the facility, according to police reports.
Rumours of mass returns to Turkey have caused unrest among the migrants, according to the Greek Reporter. A total of 1,546 migrants of different nationalities have been sent back to Turkey since 2015, following a deal between Ankara and the European Union to return migrants to the country.
"Between 3,000 and 4,000 migrants have fled the camp of Moria," a police source told AFP. Fierce winds are said to be stoking the fire.
However, the Lifeguards Hellas team said that the blaze was now under control, with the people evacuated from the migrant camp, while volunteers distributed water supplies and assisted families.
There were no reports of injuries among the migrants although the fire damaged prefabricated housing units and tents. A police source said that around 150 minors at the camp were evacuated to a children's village on the island.
A police investigation is taking place to look into whether the fire was started by some of the residents. There is much frustration and tension concerning overcrowding at Moria camp, where there is organised accommodation for 3,500. There are also long delays in processing asylum requests.
More than 5,400 refugees and migrants are currently located on Lesbos, which is the main destination for over a million people who have travelled to the eastern islands of Greece from Turkey since the start of 2015.
On Sunday 18 September, there were violent scuffles between extreme right-wing factions and anti-state rebels at the island's Sapphous Square. Local residents were demanding that the number of migrants to be limited to 3,000 refugees on the island.