- Title: Almost 500 migrants reach Italy, more deaths reported at sea
- Date: 16th November 2016
- Summary: CATANIA, SICILY, ITALY (NOVEMBER 16, 2016) (REUTERS) COAST GUARD VESSEL CARRYING RESCUED MIGRANTS DOCKED IN PORT VARIOUS OF RESCUERS IN PROTECTIVE SUITS ON DECK STANDING NEXT TO MIGRANTS WRAPPED IN GREY BLANKETS MIGRANTS WRAPPED IN GREY BLANKETS WAITING TO DISEMBARK EMERGENCY WORKER HOLDING UP UMBRELLA ACCOMPANYING MIGRANT IN PORT VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS LINED UP UNDER TEMPORARY SHELTER FOR HEALTH AND IDENTIFICATION CHECKS COAST GUARD VESSEL DOCKED IN PORT WITH DINGHIES USED IN RESCUE OPERATIONS SEEN ON SIDE OF VESSEL MIGRANTS LINED UP AT RED CROSS SHELTER IN PORT (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) RED CROSS CATANIA BRANCH PRESIDENT, STEFANO PRINCIPATO, SAYING: "Obviously they've suffered from cold, they feel cold because they've made this passage in windy and rainy weather. This proves that despite adverse weather and sea conditions, migration - and we are not talking about an emergency now but a phenomena - doesn't stop. So even with unfavourable weather conditions many people, pushed by their desperation, choose to cross, facing an uncertain fate. In this case judging by their overall health condition, they were fortunate, but it is still a very risky journey." MIGRANTS WRAPPED IN GREY BLANKETS LINED UP IN PORT RESCUE VESSEL DOCKED IN PORT VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS ON QUAYSIDE BY VESSEL MIGRANTS BY SHELTERS EMERGENCY WORKER ACCOMPANYING MIGRANT IN PORT MIGRANTS' FEET RESCUE VESSEL DOCKED IN PORT
- Embargoed: 1st December 2016 13:49
- Keywords: migrants rescue Catania port Italy Red Cross
- Location: CATANIA, ITALY
- City: CATANIA, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00158P2D6V
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Almost 500 migrants arrived at the port of Catania on Wednesday (November 16) after being rescued earlier this week near the coast of Libya, with the influx of refugees heading to Europe showing no signs of slowing.
Hundreds of migrants, mostly men from sub-Saharan Africa, huddled under grey blankets on the deck of the Italian coast guard vessel Diciotti as they started to disembark in pouring rain.
A second ship, the Aquarius, operated by the non-governmental group SOS Mediterranean, was due to dock at an Italian port in the next two days carrying some 120 migrants and the bodies of nine people who died trying to make the perilous Mediterranean crossing.
Mathilde Auvillain, a spokeswoman for SOS Mediterranean aboard the Aquarius, said that among the migrants were a group of 23 people who were plucked from the sea on Tuesday (November 15) by an oil tanker after their rubber boat started to sink.
Four bodies were recovered from the scene, but many more were believed to have drowned, with survivors saying that 122 people had been on the boat when it left Libya.
"Obviously they've suffered from cold, they feel cold because they've made this passage in windy and rainy weather. This proves that despite adverse weather and sea conditions, migration - and we are not talking about an emergency now but a phenomena - doesn't stop. So even with unfavourable weather conditions many people, pushed by their desperation, choose to cross, facing an uncertain fate. In this case judging by their overall health condition, they were fortunate, but it is still a very risky journey," said the president of the Red Cross's Catania branch, Stefano Principato, as the rescued migrants lined up for standard health and identification procedures in the port after disembarking the coast guard vessel.
Some 167,000 migrants have reached Italy by boat so far this year, exceeding the total for all of 2015 which stood at 154,000. The death toll in the Mediterranean has surged this year to more than 4,270 compared to 3,777 in 2015, according to the International Organization for Migration.
While last year departures dropped off from October as the weather conditions worsened, this year the decline has been less pronounced, Interior Ministry data show.
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