The region of Sicily, in the south of Italy, is overwhelmed after in the last 24 hours more than 3,000 migrants have arrived at the ports of Lampedusathe closest island to the African coast, and Porto Empedocle, where the Astral sailboat from the Spanish NGO Open Arms has just docked.
The Astral has been able to disembark in European territory the 59 people rescued on the sailboat, equipped to assist boats but not for long journeys, after asking the Italian Government to assign it a port “urgently” since at first they were ordered to go to Tunis.
“Tunisia cannot be considered a safe landing port,” publicly protested the NGO, which after the rescue had to evacuate a pregnant woman on the high seas with the help of the Maltese authorities.
Porto Empedocle, located in the south of the island of Sicily, plans to receive more than 1,000 migrants today, Since those rescued by Open Arms will be joined by the more than 370 people who will arrive there after being rescued by the Ocean Viking ship, from the Franco-German NGO Sos Mediterranée.
The crew of the Ocean Viking claims to have rescued 623 people in 15 rescue operations executed in the last two days, since the situation in the central Mediterranean is dramatic with dozens of boats trying to reach the European coasts.