The mayor of Lampedusa, Toto Martello, announced that around 820 people, spread over 13 makeshift boats, arrived on the island last Saturday. Claiming that this was “one of the biggest landings in recent times,” the mayor recalled that last week nearly 800 migrants, also, arrived in only 24 hours.
The Italian press reported that 539 of these migrants were crammed onto a single fishing boat and were rescued by the Italian coastguard. Alida Serrachieri, medical director of Doctors without Borders in Lampedusa, said some migrants showed “signs of violence dating to their stay in Libya.”
With the only reception centre in Lampedusa being overcrowded, hundreds of migrants have been transported to Sicilian towns and to quarantine ships.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has announced that more than 37,000 people have landed in Italy since the beginning of the current year, compared with around 34,000 for the whole of 2020.