Italian Island Sees Non-Stop Migrant Landings over Weekend

Migrants react after disembarking on the southern Italian Pelagie Island of Lampedusa on M

Lampedusa has seen nonstop landings of illegal migrant boats over the last several days, with hundreds arriving on the Italian island.

Over the course of the weekend, the Mediterranean island, which lies between Sicily and Tunisia, saw hundreds of migrants arrive daily.

On Saturday, 12 boats landed carrying 323 migrants on board the vessels. According to a report from Il Giornale, nine more landings took place on Sunday, with 216 migrant arrivals. A further 24 migrants arrived on Monday morning.

The prefecture of Agrigento is said to be trying to redistribute the migrants to other areas, as the Lampedusa hotspot reception centre only has the capacity for around 250 migrants and currently holds over 400. The overcrowding in the reception centre is said to be taking its toll on the hotspot.

Attilio Lucia, a member of Matteo Salvini’s right-populist League, said of the situation: “The conditions are getting worse and worse. The inhabitants of the island are tired of living in this condition that creates anxiety.”

“Restaurateurs, hoteliers, and owners of other businesses complain of a state of suffering due to the constant news coming about landings that risk affecting business trends,” he added.

Lucia criticised Lampedusa mayor Totò Martello, saying: “First, the mayor said that the situation was under control. Then, he asked for the intervention of Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The situation here has never been under control.”

The new landings come just days after at least seven migrants, including a pregnant woman, drowned off the coast of Lampedusa.

Earlier this year, Italian media speculated that people traffickers were using pregnant women as “weapons” to encourage sympathy for mass illegal migration and increase the attention of authorities for more rapid rescues.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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