Migration centres are strained as 700 people arrive on Canaries coast in 4 days
Almost 700 people have survived the migratory route from West Africa to the Canary Islands in the last four days and, from what is known so far, another four have died in the attempt, including a seven-year-old girl who drowned after the boat she was on board capsized.
On Friday, 392 people who were aboard different boats in waters near Lanzarote were rescued. Eight of them had to be airlifted by the Helimer helicopter as they were in the sea after their boat capsized, including a six-year-old boy who was in cardiorespiratory arrest and was taken to hospital in critical condition after rescuers revived him, and a pregnant woman.
That same night the seven-year-old girl, who was accompanied by her mother, died after their boat turned over in the choppy waters. According to the Red Cross, who spoke to her mother, she tied her daughter to her with a handkerchief to keep her safe, but it couldn-t withstand the force of the sea.
All the survivors, except the seriously injured who were taken to hospital, and the women and children who were taken to the Montaña Mina centre in San Bartolomé., were taken to the Arrecife CATE (Temporary Attention Centre for Foreigners), which has a capacity for 200 people.
However, they had to increase its capacity as on Saturday with extra tents as two other boats with a total of 104 people on board were intercepted, also off the coast of Lanzarote, and the survivors were again transferred to the CATE, which was already overwhelmed.
CATE has confirmed that between 80 and 100 people are being transferred to centres in Gran Canaria and Tenerife every day as they can’t cope with the volume of arrivals being the closest island to the African coast.
On Sunday, 153 people arrived on the Canary coast. The first boats did so overnight from Saturday to Sunday, when 102 migrants arrived in Fuerteventura, 41 in a small boat that reached a beach on the south of the island by their own means, and 61 in a boat rescued on the high seas, among which there were eight severely dehydrated that needed medical attention.
On Sunday afternoon, another 36 people managed to reach Las Cocinitas beach (Haría, Lanzarote) by their own means, and yesterday (Monday) another 44 people reached Fuerteventura taking the total to 696 that have arrived at the islands.
In this last boat, there were three deceased on board, which means that over 800 people have been killed so far this year on the Canarian route, according to the latest data from Caminando Fronteras who monitor the crossings.
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