After the downfall of Col. Moammar Qaddafi, I assumed that the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean would come to an end. For the past ten days that did indeed seem to be the case, but a sudden new flood has brought 675 new culture-enrichers from North Africa to the Italian island of Lampedusa.
This means the year-to-date total is now going on 55,000, which necessitates a tick upwards in the temperature shown on the Cultural Enrichment Thermometer at the top of this post.
Two slightly different news stories report that the new immigrants arrived over the weekend on Lampedusa in ten separate boats. First, from AGI:
98 Tunisian Migrants Land in Lampedusa
(AGI) Lampedusa — New landing of migrants in Lampedusa. Ninety eight Tunisian, among them one woman, reached last night the Favaloro pier. They were preceded on Saturday by 577 others, women and children included, who arrived in Lampedusa on 9 unseaworthy vessels. At this point some 1200 migrants are guests of the Lampedusa reception center. Their transfer is in pending.
A slightly longer version of the same story was posted at ANSAmed. You’ll notice that the newcomers are all from Tunisia, so it may in fact be true that the flow from Libya has stopped:
More Tunisians Land in Lampedusa During Night
(ANSAmed) — Lampedusa (Agrigento), September 12 — More immigrants landed last night in Lampedusa: 98 Tunisians, including one woman, landed at 1:40 on the Favarolo pier after being rescued by a Guardia di Finanza patrol boat.
Saturday a total of 577 people from Maghreb landed on the island, while another 36 landed on Linosa, all of whom departed from Tunisia’s shores aboard 8 large boats. In the reception centre in Lampedusa, where several protests have been reported in recent days, at present there are 1,200 immigrants.
For previous posts about the Mediterranean refugee crisis, see The Camp of the Saints Archive.
Hat tips: C. Cantoni and Insubria.