Posted on September 14, 2023

Around 7,000 Migrants Arrive on Italy’s Lampedusa Island in Past Two Days

AFP, September 14, 2023

The local reception centre, built to house fewer than 400 people, was overwhelmed with men, women and children forced to sleep outside on makeshift plastic cots, many wrapped in metallic emergency blankets.

Tensions broke out on Wednesday as food was being distributed by the Italian Red Cross, which runs the facility, causing police to intervene.

Some young men later left the overcrowded centre and went into Lampedusa‘s historic town centre – where an AFP photographer found some of them queueing for ice-cream.


Located just 90 miles (around 145 kilometres) off the coast of Tunisia, Lampedusa is one of the first points of call for migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Days of fine weather has seen a surge in arrivals in recent days, with more than 5,000 people arriving in Italy on Tuesday alone, according to interior ministry figures.


Almost 124,000 migrants have arrived on Italy’s shores so far this year, up from 65,500 in the same period last year.

The numbers have yet to surpass those of 2016, however, when more than 181,000 arrived during a surge in irregular migration to Europe, many of them Syrians escaping war.