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1,300 migrants overcrowd Lampedusa reception centre designed for 400

People trying to reach Lampedusa on boats
People trying to reach Lampedusa on boats Copyright Francisco Seco/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Francisco Seco/Copyright 2022 The AP. All rights reserved
By Philip Andrew Churm with EFE
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Around 1,300 migrants are crowded into one reception centre on the island of Lampedusa after a new wave of boats arrived since Saturday.

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It is the closest Italian territory to the North African coast and the centre is struggling to cope as it only has a capacity for about 400 people.

At least twelve boats were intercepted on Sunday night with a total of 691 people on board who had left the ports of Zuwarah in Libya and Sfax in Tunisia.

It comes as a Spanish NGO ship is heading to the port of Livorno to help 117 migrants rescued in the central Mediterranean.

AP Photo/Jeremias Gonzalez
(File) Migrants with life jackets provided by volunteers of the Ocean Viking, a migrant search and rescue ship run by NGOs SOS Mediterranee and the IFRC.AP Photo/Jeremias Gonzalez

The government's programme for the transfer of migrants to other locations was immediately set in motion and it is planned that about 200 will be taken to the port of Porto Empedocle, in Sicily and the Diciotti ship of the Coast Guard will also relocate a further 600.

It comes ahead of a delegation of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday to find out more about the rescue and reception situation in Lampedusa.

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