The small Italian island of Lampedusa was seen in trouble on Thursday to face the arrival of some 7,000 migrants on boats from North Africa, the equivalent to the entire local population.
The local shelter, with capacity for less than 400 people, was overflowed by men, women and children forced to sleep outside on makeshift plastic beds, many wrapped in survival blankets.
On Wednesday there were tensions when the Italian Red Crosswhich manages the facilities, distributed food, forcing the police to intervene.
Some young people then headed to the historic center of the town of Lampedusa, where an AFP photographer saw some eating ice cream.
Many said they were hungry, but few had money and some restaurants rejected them. Other establishments offered them free food, or residents and tourists paid for it.