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Society

Fire Contained at Refugee Camp on Earthquake-Hit Island of Samos

SAMOS, Greece — The cause wasn't known but Greek firefighters managed to quickly put down a fire at the Vathy refugee and migrant detention center on the island of Samos, three days after an earthquake hit Turkey and there.

The extent of damage from the blaze that began at 4 a.m .on Nov. 2 wasn't reported but no injuries were reported at the facility that holds about 4,200 people seeking asylum.

Like another nearly 30,000 on four other Greek islands, they had come from Turkey after first going there fleeing war, strife and economic hardships in their homelands, especially Syria and Afghanistan.

A fire in September destroyed the notorious Moria refugee and migrant center on Lesbos that was holding 12,500 people, most of whom were relocated to a hastily-built tent city where they will spend the winter.

That fire, officials said, was set by a few people in protest of a quarantine imposed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, with Greece still holding about 100,000 refugee and migrants 5 ½ years after they began going to Turkey.

They used that country as a jumping-off point to get to the European Union, mostly through Greece, before the bloc closed its borders to them and other countries reneged on pledges to help take some of the overload. 

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