A rubbish fire, the cause of which is still under investigation, broke out on December 31 on the perimeter of a shanty town in San Ferdinando in the province of Reggio Calabria. Several hundred migrant farm workers who are currently working in harvesting citrus fruit are living there.No injuries were reported in the fire, which destroyed 13 shacks.
The 40 migrants who were living in the shacks were immediately transferred to a new tent camp.
Migrant dies in fire on December 2
The prefecture of Reggio Calabria said the immediate response of the firefighters and law enforcement at the shanty town was decisive in helping to prevent more serious consequences. The most recent other fire that broke out at the San Ferdinando shanty town took place on December 2, where an 18-year-old Gambian migrant, Surawa Jaith, died.
Difficult situation in the shanty town
The morning after the fire, the situation in the San Ferdinando shanty town was calm, following the previous night of fear. The occupants of the shacks realized what was happening in time, and managed to get away from the fire. The current situation in the shanty town is very difficult and precarious.
Recent law enforcement estimates said the number of migrants living there had gone down. However, during the cold winter nights, migrants light fires to warm themselves and the materials used to build the shacks - mainly wood and plastic - can catch fire easily. An additional risk to those living in the shacks is the accumulation of rubbish, which is dramatically increasing.