Over 600 new migrants dock on Italian island of Lampedusa in 24 hours
The Italian island of Lampedusa is facing a crisis after over 600 migrants docked between Friday and Saturday.
Ten boats with 430 people on board arrived on Saturday alone, compared to 247 on Friday.
The passengers were mostly from Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Ghana, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
These new rescues come after a new wave of disembarkations on the Italian coast last week, which saw the arrival of nearly 3,000 people in 48 hours in Lampedusa alone.
It is estimated that the island's reception centre is now running at three times its capacity, despite recent attempts to ease overcrowding.
The local prefecture and the Italian government have arranged for some of the migrants to be to Porto Empedocle, Sicily, for better care. The exact number is yet unknown, as the identification process of the new arrivals is underway.
The Italian Interior Ministry says that in the first four months of 2023, more than four times as many people arrived in Italy compared to last year: 40,856 people compared to 10,188 in 2022.
Meanwhile, the ship belonging to the NGO Doctors without Borders, the _Geo Barents,_was able to dock in the port of La Spezia with 336 migrants and refugees, following two separate rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean last Sunday and Tuesday.
The NGO complained that the Italian authorities assigned a very distant port when a large number of passengers needed medical assistance, a common practice since the ultra-right-wing Giorgia Meloni took office as prime minister.
"After this difficult experience, the survivors now only need to be properly cared for and protected. We wish them well for the rest of their journey. In accordance with international law, it is essential that they disembark in a safe place as soon as possible," the NGO said.
According to MSF, "the decision to assign a distant port does not take into account the welfare of the newly rescued survivors" and is not in line with international guidelines on the treatment of people rescued at sea.