French authorities declare 'The Jungle' empty

2016-10-26 16:33
A tent burns in the makeshift migrant camp known as The Jungle near Calais. (Thibault Camus, AP)

A tent burns in the makeshift migrant camp known as The Jungle near Calais. (Thibault Camus, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Calais - French authorities declared the Calais migrant camp known as "The Jungle," empty on Wednesday, after fires set by departing migrants accelerated plans to evacuate people from the burgeoning slum.

Local officials announced the destruction of the camp, where thousands fleeing war and poverty have lived in squalor as they waited for a chance to sneak across the English Channel into Britain. Migrants are being moved to reception centeres around France where they can seek asylum.

"There are no more migrants in the camp," said Fabienne Buccio, a local official in the camp. "Our mission has been fulfilled."

Migrants were seen milling around after despite the announcement, but authorities said they would stop processing people by Wednesday evening.

Migrants have flocked to the Calais region for decades, but the camp has grown as Europe's migrant crisis expanded. As it evolved into a massive slum supported by aid groups, France finally decided to shut it down.

As the reality of the mass evacuation took hold, fearful migrants from Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Syria and Pakistan braced for a new reality. Some pledged to just keep moving.

"This jungle is no good," said Muhammad Afridi, 20, from Pakistan. "We go to a new jungle."

The main alley through the camp near the city of Calais burned overnight, leaving skeleton-like hulks on either side of the road. Firefighters delved into the camp's deepest recesses, trying to prevent a massive conflagration.

Gas canisters popped as they exploded in the heat. One aid group's truck burst into flames.

Migrants stood and watched. Some laughed.

The camp once housed 6 300 migrants, according to authorities, but aid groups said the number was much higher.


Read more on:    france  |  migrants

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.