A wave of around 800 illegal immigrants has hit Italy’s shores with officials warning the country is struggling to cope with the influx.
The Italian coastguard guided around 400 new entrants into the port of Lampedusa, after their boat started to list badly. Later on, four smaller boats with a similar number of passengers were also intercepted.
Most of the arrivals, including women and children, were of African decent. It is thought they had traveled to the Island after departing from the Libyan coast.
The arrivals have caused chaos on Lampedusa with Officials saying the holding centre is close to its full capacity.
Last week, the Italian government declared a state of emergency over illegal immigration. The center-right administration has recently cracked down on the problem, making it much easier to expel immigrants and punish those who commit crimes.