Mediterranean Migrants Overwhelm Italy’s Lampedusa Reception Center
Aug. 26, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Italy’s Reception Center of Lampedusa (CDA) is housing over 4,000 migrants on the island as of today, well beyond its maximum capacity of approximately 800, creating a dire humanitarian crisis, according to ANSA news agency. The ANSA report states: “There were 4,121 migrants and refugees in the Lampedusa hotspot mid-morning on Saturday following the arrival on the island of a record 1,918 people in 65 landings on Friday and a further 870 people in 22 landings since midnight.”
Built in 1998, the CDA is located on the tiny 7.8 sq. mile Italian island of Lampedusa approximately 130 miles south of Sicily with a resident population of 5,800 people. The island has become one of the primary entry points for migrants attempting to reach Europe via the Mediterranean from Africa and Asia, with the point of departure for most arrivals being Libya or Tunisia. The CDA was originally built to house 400 people but was recently expanded to house up to 800. ANSA reports that authorities are working to transfer new arrivals from the island to the mainland as quickly as possible, but the large number of arrivals is making the task difficult.
Data compiled for this year by the Italian Ministry of Interior indicates that as of Aug. 16 there have been 101,386 migrant arrivals to Italy (not just Lampedusa), double the number at this time in 2022. According to the UN’s International Organization for Migration, as of mid-August 2,013 migrants have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to Italy, what is known as the Central Mediterranean migration route, by far the most deadly route for migrants attempting to flee to Europe.