Over 400 migrants arrive in Italy while 800 more stuck on vessel
Rome, Aug 3 (EFE).- A total of 424 migrants landed Tuesday on the Italian island of Lampedusa, while some 800 other migrants remain at sea on two NGO vessels awaiting permission to land.
The migrants were rescued by two humanitarian ships from an overcrowded boat on the verge of capsizing in the Mediterranean Sea.
They will be transferred to reception centers on Lampedusa, which are already struggling to provide shelter to more than 1,200 migrants.
Meanwhile, 812 migrants are on board the German NGO Sea Watch and French Ocean Viking vessels waiting for Italy to grant them access to a port to disembark.
The Sea Watch is carrying 257 people rescued during several operations since July 29, while 555 migrants, including at least two pregnant women and 33 minors, 22 of whom unaccompanied, are aboard the SOS Méditerranée’s Ocean Viking.
The French humanitarian organization has warned that the state of migrants on board the vessels is worsening due to the rising waves and intense heat.
“Many are suffering from seasickness today. Some have fainted on our deck due to the heat and the ordeal they lived through”, leader of the Viking medical team, Francisca, wrote on social media.
NGO Medecins Sans Frontieres announced Tuesday that after 24 days of blockade by the Italian authorities, its ship GeoBarents is returning to the central Mediterranean to resume rescue operations.
As of last Monday, 29,461 migrants have arrived in Italy so far this year, compared to 14,406 in 2020 and 3,920 in 2019. EFE