A barge with 137 immigrants aboard, most of them Syrians, on Monday reached the Italian island of Lampedusa, where coffins are being taken with the bodies of the 365 fatalities from the Oct. 3 capsizing of another vessel laden with migrants.
Immigrant boats arrive endlessly in this area and hundreds have reached the coasts of Sicily and Calabria over the past few hours.
The last boat, 12 meters (39 feet) long, sailed in around 8:00 a.m. and the immigrants waited for emergency management teams to take them to the island’s arrivals center, where some 900 people are being sheltered, three times its capacity.
Meanwhile, another five bodies of those who went missing on Oct. 3 were brought to the Favarolo dock at Lampedusa.
Close to 150 coffins were transported over the weekend to the Sicilian city of Agrigento, from where they were later taken for burial in different villages. Meanwhile the situation began to get very complicated in Lampedusa, with the need to store the remains of 365 shipwreck victims.
Also on Saturday another 21 bodies began arriving on the small island from the boat that sank Friday in territorial waters of Malta.
On Monday the Save the Children organization opened a toy library on Lampedusa for the close to 100 minors at the arrivals center.
At the same time, a team of doctors, nurses and psychologists of the Order of Malta went to the island to provide their services to the immigrants.
In the first eight months of 2013, 21,241 undocumented migrants arrived on Italy’s coasts, up from 15,570 in all of 2012, according to a study conducted by Censis, an Italian non-profit social sciences and economics institute.