Greek authorities on Thursday were forced to deploy tear gas and stun grenades to disperse rioting migrants at the overcrowded Vathy asylum center on the island of Samos, new reports have revealed.
Roughly 300 migrants from various African countries are reported to have started fires and thrown stones at police who attempted to quell the unrest that broke out Thursday morning near the Vathy migrant reception center, Reuters reports.
As a result of the unrest, the municipality of east Samos shut down and evacuated several schools and preschools.
Like many of the migrant camps operating on the Greek islands, Vathy is operating far beyond its capacity. As of this week, Vathy currently houses 7,547 migrants in a facility that was originally designed to accommodate 648 people.
Migrant facilities on the Greek Islands of Lesbos and Samos that were originally designed to accommodate less than 10,000 people are currently housing more than 41,000 migrants. It’s the highest number of migrants housed at these facilities since the EU-Turkey migrant agreement came into effect in 2016.
Meanwhile, migrants continue to pour into Greece from Turkey every single day. Late last month, more than 700 migrants landed in Greece in 24 hours. The week before that, more than 1,350 migrants landed on Greece’s islands in the Aegean.
To cope with the growing crisis, Greek authorities have planned to build additional facilities on the islands. They’ve also planned to move 20,000 migrants to the mainland by the end of the year.
Days ago, Voice of Europe reported that Greece’s government expects 100,000 more migrants are to arrive in Greece in 2020.