Despite the cold, refugees have remained in abandoned buildings, and refuse to return to the camps where they would have a steady supply of food and water.
Refugees Leave Camps Due To Safety Concerns
Some refugees, including Afghans, on the Greek island of Lesbos by the Aegean Sea have chosen to leave refugee camps due to safety concerns and have opted instead to stay in abandoned warehouses.
Despite the sharp drop in temperatures over recent days, refugees have remained in the dormant buildings, and refuse to return to the camps where they would have a steady supply of food and water.
Syrian refugee Abbas has stayed in a long-abandoned plant on Lesbos for the past month. He said series of problems at the Moria refugee camp drove him and his family away.
Abbas said he arrived in Lesbos from Turkey four months ago. After three months in Moria, he along with four of his relatives moved into the abandoned plant in December.
Despite having no normal food supply and no bathroom, Abbas said he finds his current situation safer than life in Moria.
A gas tank explosion on the evening of November 24 killed one woman and a child at the packed Moria camp. Prior to that incident, two large fires broke out in the camp, with arson suspected to be the cause of both cases.
Most refugees in the camp have stayed for over six months due to the extended process of applying for asylum. In a dull and overcrowded environment, a rising number of clashes between refugees and police has led to growing discontent among refugees, with many choosing to leave.
Not far off another refugee camp, nearly a dozen young refugees take shelter in an unfinished warehouse.
The refugees, mostly from Afghanistan, have previously stayed in Moria.
Amir, one of the refugees, said he and his friends have stayed in the warehouse for a month, braving the cold winter temperatures at night.
They say they left the camp out of fear of another fire and were worried heavy snow might cause the tents to collapse. They were also concerned about disease or fever breaking out inside the camp.
The humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has previously warned about possible epidemic outbreaks in the Moria camp due to a lack of medical supplies.
The EU plans to relocate 66,000 refugees in Greece to other European countries by the end of 2017. However, only 7,700 were relocated over the past 10 months. Around 11,000 refugees remain on Greek islands by the Aegean sea.