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Refugees, immigrants “flood” Chios port, as numbers rise (photos)

Locals warn then conditions will soon be unbearable

The rising number of immigrants and refugees on the island of Chios in recent days, brought back memories of Spring of 2016 when the conditions in the harbour were unbearable, as facilities were unable to deal with the sudden influx of of people.

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The situation, according to local news site politischios.gr, has gradually deteriorated since Thursday night when families with babies found shelter in the area opposite the Port Authority.

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Until now a total of 377 immigrants and refugees have landed in different areas of the island, making it virtually impossible for the existing hotspot of VIAL to absorb the large number. Tents have been set up around the camp, while containers were urgently transported to deal with the increasing numbers, but so far it has been impossible to accommodate all the people.

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Meanwhile, sanitary conditions have worsened while low light makes it even more difficult for families to feel a sense of scurity in night time. The worrying thing is that the situation is expected to become even worse with the change of weather conditions next week, as the meteorological services have forecast heavy rainfall.

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Residents have warned that if the process of transporting the immigrants and refugees to mainland Greece does not start soon, the island will “suffocate”. Port authorities argue Turkey is clearly in control of the numbers crossing into Greece.

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At the same time, the Souda refugee settlement is shutting down after municipality crews dismantled the last structures leaving only a few rubhall tents for the remaining 50 refugees. At one stage the Souda hotspot hosted 2,000 people under extremely poor conditions.