Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



Italian Coasts Experience Surge in Migrant arrivals Following Christmas

Members of the Italian Red Cross distribute bottles of water and food to migrants before they board a ship to be transported to other cities, September 18, 2023.   -  
Copyright © africanews


The Italian Ministry of Interior reported a sudden surge in migrant arrivals on Italian coasts since Christmas Day, attributed to favourable weather conditions.

Over a four-day period, more than 1,500 migrants were registered, with Wednesday seeing the highest number of arrivals at 723.

Lampedusa, an island approximately 70 nautical miles from Tunisia, witnessed most of the landings.

Various charity-operated rescue ships, including Sea-Watch and SOS Méditerranée, conducted operations in the central Mediterranean, rescuing hundreds of migrants.

Notably, Sea-Watch rescued 118 migrants on Christmas night, while the Ocean Viking, operated by SOS Méditerranée, rescued 244 people on Wednesday.

Bari has been designated as the port of disembarkation for the Ocean Viking. Additionally, the Sea-Eye rescue ship rescued 106 individuals in the Maltese search and rescue zone on Tuesday.

According to the UNHCR, a total of 260,662 people have crossed the Mediterranean Sea from Northern Africa to Europe since the beginning of 2023.

View more