The exodus is continuing from Libya. Over 800 migrants crammed into small boats have arrived in the Italian island of Lampedusa.
Their flight from the African coastline on Friday is adding to the crisis that has raised tension between European governments and prompted plans to temporarily restore border controls.
Silvio Berlusconi had vowed to clear the island.
On land the Tunisian border became a bottle neck of cars. Many of those fleeing Libya were the families of the rebels, escorted to safety before their men returned to the frontline.
In the Remada camp in Tunisia, 50 kilometres from the crossing, the UN’s refugee agency said 31,000 have already fled to Tunisia and estimate the number will rise to 50,000 by the end of the month.
Health fears for the families and their future have grown. One refugee explained her concerns.
“The situation is a tragedy, if it carries on the way it is going, all the refugees from the camp will fall ill with very serious and dangerous illnesses – especially with the toilets we use. The kids will get sick. It really is a tragedy,” she said.
The UN is working to place refugees with host families in Tunisia but over a thousand have been living in tents for two weeks where food is scarce and facilities basic.