No place left on Greek island to bury refugees, says Mayor

Mayor of Greek island Lesbos says there is no room left to bury dead bodies of refugees whose boats capsized at sea

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Greek firemen seen carrying a dead body of a refugee after their boat capsized while crossing a part of the Aegean Sea from Turkey on the Greek island of Lesbos, October 25, 2015.

Mayor Spyros Galinos of the Greek island Lesbos said on Monday that he is having difficulty finding burial locations for the increasing number of refugees who have downed at sea, while trying to reach Greece on unsafe boats.

Galinos, speaking to Greek media said that more than 50 bodies are currently waiting in the morgue on the eastern Aegean island.

Another tragic scene was seen on Monday when 11 people - mostly children - drowned at the Aegean Sea as they were trying to reach Lesbos. 

The island’s Mayor said that he was speeding up the process to take over a field next to the main cemetery, making it ready for burials. 

On Sunday morning alone, at least 15 refugees, including six children, have drowned in the Aegean Sea when their boat capsized off the Greek island of Samos.

The United Nations (UN) on Monday said over 218,000 people made the perilous journey by unsafe boats in October, while 210,000 of them arrived in Greece. 

The arrivals in October brought the number of people who made the journey so far this year to over 744,000.

On the other hand, at least 3,300 people have lost their lives or have gone missing while trying to reach Europe’s shores across the Mediterranean, so far this year.

The ongoing refugee crisis is mainly triggered by war and conflict in the Middle East and Africa.

Turkey's western coast is most favored by refugees, who wish to reach the Greek islands, as this route is the shortest sea journey from Asia to European Union territory.

TRTWorld and agencies