In Italy, more than a thousand migrants have arrived by sea within a few hours. They went ashore in several Sicilian ports. On Saturday, a merchant ship and the coast guard rescued more than 600 people from a fishing boat off the southern Italian region of Calabria, on which the bodies of five people were also found. Late on Saturday evening, 522 people on 15 boats from Tunisia and Libya also reached the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa.
According to aid organizations, hundreds of other people rescued from distress at sea are waiting to go ashore. According to its own statements, the Berlin-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Sea-Watch saved over 400 people in four missions on Saturday, including a heavily pregnant woman and several children.
According to the crew, the ship “Ocean Viking” of the NGO SOS Méditerranée took 87 people off the Libyan coast from an “overcrowded rubber boat”.
According to the Interior Ministry in Rome, 34,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Italy since the beginning of the year. In the previous year there were 25,500 people, in 2020 10,900. According to Italian media, the initial reception center on Lampedusa, which is designed for a maximum of 300 people, is dramatically overcrowded. According to the Ansa news agency, there are 1,200 people in it.