The Geo Barents ship, from the NGO Doctors Without Borders (MSF), rescued this Saturday more than 330 migrants who were trying to cross the central Mediterranean in precarious conditions, while more than 2,500 people remain overcrowded on the Italian island of Lampedusa. (south) waiting to be transferred.
The humanitarian ship completed up to eight rescue operations today and is in contact with the Italian authorities to carry out rescue operations, the organization indicated in a statement.
For its part, Lampedusa continues to be plunged into chaos after the arrival of more than 10,000 migrants in just three days, of which 2,500 are still waiting to be transferred to other ports in a reception center with capacity for 400.
Today there have been moments of tension due to the overcrowded conditions and the long wait against which some people have protested.
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will travel to Lampedusa, the island closest to Africa, tomorrow, as requested yesterday in writing by the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni. The Prime Minister wrote a letter to the president of the Commission late yesterday, asking her to visit the island "to personally understand the seriousness of the situation."
Meanwhile, the migrants continue their journeys, some involved in tragedy, such as a woman who gave birth to her son while trying to cross the Mediterranean at night on a barge with 40 other people, but when the Italian coast guard came to the rescue they found to the dead newborn and his mother in need of medical assistance.
In the last few hours, arrivals have been contained and tonight about 120 people have arrived on the island by their own means, where the majority are identified and subsequently transferred to other ports in Italy.
Although these trips are not without danger, since on Friday a bus carrying migrants arriving in Rome from Lampedusa collided with a truck and two drivers died and 25 were injured.
Faced with the emergency, Meloni yesterday announced a package of measures to dissuade migrants who try to arrive irregularly in Italy, including extending the period of detention in the hospitals to 18 months, the maximum allowed by law. detention centers for people awaiting repatriation.
With the numbers constantly evolving, so far this year 127,207 immigrants have landed in Italy, almost double the 66,237 of the same period in 2022 and triple that of 2021 (42,750), according to updated data from the Italian Ministry of the Interior. yesterday.