Italian migrant hotspot on the brink of collapse after nearly a thousand migrants disembark

Authorities on the Italian Mediterranean island of Lampedusa are calling out for urgent help after mass migrant arrivals over the weekend pushed its hotspots on the brink of collapse.

“Lampedusa is no longer able to cope with this situation.”, mayor Totò Martello told Italian news agency ANSA.

“Either the government takes immediate decisions or the whole island will go on strike. We cannot manage the emergency and the situation is now really unsustainable,” he said.

Around 370 migrants disembarked on Saturday night on the southern Italian island.

Their boat was spotted off the coast by the Italian Coastguard as it was at risk of sinking due to strong winds.

The migrants, whose nationality is not yet known, were disembarked in small groups before undergoing coronavirus tests and being transferred to a reception centre.

Authorities also transported to Lampedusa on Saturday 49 vulnerable people, mainly women and children, from Banksy’s “Louise Michel” rescue ship.

Prior to Saturday’s disembarkments, another 500 migrants arrived on the overburdened island on Friday on “around 30 small boats mainly from the Tunisian coast”, news agency AFP says quoting Italian media.

Lampedusa now reportedly houses around 1,160 migrants, six times beyond its maximum capacity.

Earlier this week Sicily’s governor Nello Musumeci had ordered the closure of all migrant centres in the region after the hotspots got too crowded to maintain social distancing and some migrants tested positive for COVID-19

“Sicily cannot continue to pay [for] the indifference of Brussels and the silence of Rome”, he said.

The decision was later overturned by a local administrative court (TAR).

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes