Lampedusa Overwhelmed as Migrant Boats Arrive Every Hour on Average
Lampedusa in the Mediterranean has seen a recent surge in migrant arrivals, with the Italian island now seeing an average of one migrant boat arrive every hour.
The mayor has threatened to declare an emergency as the local migrant reception centre has been flooded with ten times its average capacity.
Mayor Totò Martello said: “The situation has become uncontrollable. If the government doesn’t, I’ll declare a state of emergency.”
Most of the migrants on the island, which is the part of Italy closest to the North African coast, arrive from Tunisia. Another 200 arrived on the island over the weekend.
Last month, islanders held their own referendum on the issue of illegal migration, with the vast majority voting to close the migrant reception centre, with only four people wanting to keep it open.