2,000 migrants land on Italian island of Lampedusa in just 24 hours

The number of new arrivals landing on Italy’s southern shores so far this year is four times higher than for the same period in 2022

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Thomas Brooke
FILE - Migrants with lifejackets provided by volunteers of the Ocean Viking, a migrant search and rescue ship run by NGOs SOS Méditerranée and the International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), are seen in a wooden boat as they are being rescued some 26 nautical miles south of the Italian Lampedusa island in the Mediterranean sea, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Jeremias Gonzalez, File)

Around 2,000 migrants have been escorted from small boats in the Mediterranean to a reception center on the Italian island of Lampedusa so far this week as the country continues to be inundated by a record number of new arrivals.

Italian officials confirmed that 1,117 people arrived on the tiny Sicilian island with a population of just 6,000 in 28 landings on Monday, while another 819 migrants arrived in 21 boats by Tuesday lunchtime.

Authorities reported several shipwrecks in the Mediterranean on Monday, which took the lives of two people and left around 20 people missing.

“There were three shipwrecks which the Coast Guard and the Guardia di Finanza attended,” a spokesperson for the Italian Coast Guard said on Monday. “The first occurred in Italian Sar waters (about 20 miles from the island of Lampedusa) from which three people are missing; the second in Maltese Sar waters, whose survivors report about 20 missing; and the third, also in the Maltese area, for which no missing persons are recorded although one of the shipwrecked was recovered lifeless.”

Multiple small boats containing migrants remain active along the crossing from North Africa to Italy’s southern shore, and both Italian authorities and NGO humanitarian vessels remain in the area.

Migrants originating from across Africa have been brought to shore, including those from Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Burkina Faso, and Sudan. Others from Benin, Congo, Guinea, Mali, and Sierra Leone have also been registered.

Data from the International Organization for Migration revealed there have been 537 deaths at sea in the central Mediterranean corridor so far this year, up to April 19, while tens of thousands have been rescued during the perilous journey to safely reach Europe.

The latest outbreak of conflict in Sudan between rival military factions could see a greater influx in the migratory flow from the region heading to Europe.

“Before this crisis, Sudan was one of the countries from where we already received the most immigrants, so there will surely be an increase of arrivals of this nationality to our coasts,” Marika Borettaz, a nurse working on an Italian military vessel on Lampedusa told Efe.

Earlier this month, the Italian administration declared a six-month national state of emergency due to the increasing levels of illegal immigration, giving authorities new powers to contain the crisis.

The Il Giornale newspaper reported a total of 36,610 migrants have arrived illegally in Italy since the beginning of the year, a figure four times higher than the same period in 2022 when 9,089 had arrived by May.

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