EventsEventsPodcasts
Loader
Find Us
ADVERTISEMENT

Canary Islands 'perplexed' by Spanish government's 'silence' as 1,200 migrants arrive in 48 hours

Migrants sit huddled in blankets on the dock in La Restinga on the Canary island of El Hierro, Spain.
Migrants sit huddled in blankets on the dock in La Restinga on the Canary island of El Hierro, Spain. Copyright AP/AP
Copyright AP/AP
By Euronews
Published on
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Until June only nine migrants had arrived on the island, but in recent weeks the number has risen to 3,300.

ADVERTISEMENT

"I have never seen a boat with so many people on board," said the former migration adviser to the regional government of the Canary Islands.

A total of 1,200 people have arrived on the Spanish island of El Hierro - the smallest of the Canary Islands - in just 48 hours. An island with a population of only 11,000 inhabitants.

Until the 8 June, only nine migrants had arrived on the island, but in recent weeks the number has risen to 3,300.

Red Cross spokesperson Alexis Ramos told a local radio station that the island was in a "difficult" situation.

"They're arriving, but they don't really know where they are. They are in shock and also a little bit exhausted," he added.

Due to a lack of capacity, the Emergency Coordination Centre has moved the irregular boats to nearby Spanish islands.

But this is not enough for the local authorities, who feel abandoned.

The President of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo, has stated that the Canary Islanders are "amazed" and "perplexed" by the "total silence" of the Spanish government in relation to the migratory crisis that the archipelago has suffered in recent months.

Clavijo insisted that the situation being experienced on a daily basis is "intolerable".

He also recalled that a social emergency has been declared because measures have to be taken to take care of both adult migrants and minors.

All this as the 27 national leaders of the European Union meet in southern Spain to seek ways to avoid a new migration crisis.

AP/AP
A small boat with migrants arrives at La Restinga on the Canary island of El Hierro, Spain.AP/AP

A dangerous route

The Canary Islands route, which has been revived in recent years, is one of the most dangerous routes to Europe.

According to the International Organisation for Migration, for every 20 people who make it to the islands, one dies.

This is the worst figure compared to other routes to Europe.

El Hierro is the last island in the Atlantic Ocean that makes up the Canary Islands, making it the last chance for many to land on European soil.

If they do not find it along the way, they are condemned to die at sea. Spanish media report that it is not uncommon for boats to arrive in the Caribbean with decomposing bodies due to the long crossing.

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Canary Islands sees surge of migrant arrivals via West African route

Willkommenskultur: Has Germany turned its back on a welcoming approach to migrants?

King Felipe VI celebrates 10 years as Spain's head of state