From file: Migrants reach Lampedusa | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/CONCETTA RIZZO
From file: Migrants reach Lampedusa | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/CONCETTA RIZZO

Two small boats carrying a total of 82 migrants were rescued in the night between February 19 and 20 off Lampedusa. On February 19, 848 people reached the tiny island on 17 boats while 958 arrived on February 18 in 20 separate landings.

Overall, 2,168 migrants were reported to be staying at Lampedusa's hotspot at dawn on Monday, February 20. The hosting facility is designed to accommodate less than 400 people.

A body was found on one of the two small boats rescued in the night between February 19 and 20 off Lampedusa.

Finance police and port authorities rescued 45 passengers on the seven-meter-long vessel (including seven women), discovering that one of the immigrants had died.

Nearly 2,000 people rescued during the weekend

Police will question the passengers who travelled with the victim -- who hail from the Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal and Nigeria -- to find out what happened after the ship left the Tunisian port of Sfax.

In addition to the 45 migrants, during the night between February 19 and 20, another vessel adrift in the Mediterranean was rescued with 37 people on board (including five women and a minor) from Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Sierra Leone.

The 82 migrants were taken to Lampedusa's hotspot in the Imbriacola district, while the body was transferred to the morgue of the cemetery of Cala Pisana.

On February 19 alone, a total of 848 people reached Lampedusa on 17 boats while 958 arrived on February 18, after 20 landings.

Island's hotspot near collapse due to lack of places

A reported 2,168 migrants were reported to be staying at the island's hotspot at dawn on Monday, February 20. The hotspot has less than 400 places. Hundreds have been sleeping for days on makeshift mattresses under thermal blankets, in a square in front of the facility, which is near collapse even though the prefecture of Agrigento has transferred many guests.

The prefecture organized the transfer of 1,041 people on February 18, while the following day a total of 600 people left. Ninety guests were taken to the port on February 20 where they boarded a finance police cutter to be taken to Pozzallo. An additional 183 people were taken by ferry to Porto Empedocle.

 

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