More than 2,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Italy in the last 24 hours. Furthermore, at least 7 are dead in Maltese waters, and official Cutro death toll reaches 90.
Some 267 refugees and migrants arrived on Lampedusa between Friday night and Saturday morning. This takes the number of arrivals to over 2,000 in 24 hours.
The humanitarian rescue ship Louise Michel, and Coast Guard and Finance Police vessels intervened to rescue four boats in distress. Finance police intercepted two more, including one that had already reached shore.
Carabinieri police also intercepted a group of 43 migrants and refugees on the tiny southern Sicilian island. There was no sign of the boat used to make the crossing. The new arrivals came after 1,778 migrants and refugees landed on Lampedusa Friday.
Following the transfer of 525 refugees and migrants off Lampedusa on Friday, on Saturday morning there were reportedly 1,831 people in the hotspot against an official capacity of less than 400.
At least seven migrants are known to have died on Saturday in two shipwrecks in the Maltese search and rescue area. The bodies were recovered by Coast Guard and Finance Police authorities, who also managed to rescue a dozen people, reportedly from sub-Saharan Africa.
An unconfirmed number of people were also rescued by a Tunisian fishing boat in the area, and which is now being escorted to Lampedusa. The fishing vessel is also said to be carrying three bodies.
Cutro death toll hits 90
The number of confirmed deaths in the February 26 migrant boat shipwreck off Cutro in Italy’s Calabria region rose to 90 on Saturday. Rescuers recovered the body of a man aged around 30.
The victim was found in waters between Le Castella and Isola Capo Rizzuto east of Steccato di Cutro. Cutro is where the boat, carrying an estimated 180 refugees and migrants, ran aground and broke up in rough seas.
It was the furthest a body has been found from the site of the tragedy that took place a month ago.