LAMPEDUSA, Italy, Aug. 16 (UPI) — A boat carrying hundreds of refugees from North Africa landed on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa on Tuesday, authorities said.
Nearly 2,500 migrants have landed on the island off the coast of Sicily in the past three days, ANSA reported.
A total of around 40,000 migrants fleeing unrest in North Africa have landed on Lampedusa from North Africa since the beginning of the year, first in a large wave from Tunisia and then in a smaller one from Libya, ANSA said.
Italian Coast Guard officials and police met the latest group of refugees and were transferring them to the island’s migrant reception center, which is currently housing 1,180 migrants.
The reception center of the small island, which is closer to Africa than to Sicily, has been overwhelmed and the Italian government has been transferring migrants to other centers on the larger island of Sardinia after protests from Lampedusa islanders.