Migrants Flood Lampedusa

I’m including the above graphic with this post for nostalgia’s sake: ten years ago I used the Cultural Enrichment Thermometer to keep track of the migration across the Mediterranean in 2011, the year of the Arab Spring. The final total was about 61,000, which seemed a huge number at the time. However, the much higher levels in the years since then would have blown out the top of the thermometer. The maximum annual total, if I remember rightly, was about half a million.

The following Italian report describes the current flood of culture-enrichers arriving at the island of Lampedusa. Many thanks to HeHa for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes and RAIR Foundation for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:01   The calls to Alarm Phone multiply: fourteen landings in Lampedusa in less than 15 hours.
00:07   They ask for help, crying “we don’t want to die here,”
00:10   say the emergency number operators, who immediately informed the law enforcement.
00:14   The Coast Guard and Financial Police patrol boats
00:17   have been ceaselessly ferrying people in the Mediterranean.
00:21   They have been rescuing people mostly in the Maltese SAR zone [search and rescue maritime zone].
00:29   Men, women, children mainly from Africa, but also from Bangladesh.
00:33   They use wooden boats, some of them just 20 meters long, overloaded with people, as usual.
00:39   A trawler in distress was carrying 398 people.
00:42   It was detected three miles away from Lampedusa.
00:46   More boats have been convoyed to the pier.
00:49   And there’s more: other boats are waiting for help, in the open sea.
00:56   More than12,000 people have landed on our shores since the beginning of the year,
01:00   three times as many as those who came in 2020 during the same period.
01:04   Malta won’t answer the emergency calls. Italy keeps rescuing people.
01:10   Even on Lampedusa, the frontier territory is taking the risk
01:14   of being overcrowded, not being able to handle the arrivals.
01:17   Its mayor addressed the government with these words:
01:20   It was a predictable risk. As soon as the nice weather arrives,
01:24   it is normal we face landings with overwhelming numbers.
01:27   They cannot say we are again in a state of emergency, all of a sudden.
01:34   Prime Minister Draghi is supposed to urgently schedule the migration issue on his agenda.
01:39   Apparently the appeal didn’t go unheard.
01:42   Minister of the Interior [Luciana] Lamorgese, whom [Matteo] Salvini
01:45   asked to take measures, talked to the Prime Minister.
01:48   They have scheduled a system of cooperation between the Ministry of Defense and that of
01:52   Foreign Affairs to face the issue of the difficult relations between Europe and Libya and Tunisia.
01:57   In the coming days they will be meeting.
02:00   Manuela Iatì, Sky TG24.

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