“We are witnessing the apocalypse.” Dramatic situation in Lampedusa, Italy

Another drama is unfolding in Lampedusa, Italy. Never before have so many migrants arrived on the island in such a short time. Currently there are twice as many inhabitants.

– We are witnessing a real apocalypse, migrants from Africa do not even have a place to lay their heads, the sanitary situation is becoming dramatic – a local pastor tells Vatican Radio. Fr. Carmelo Rizzo emphasizes that the local population no longer has the strength to tackle this problem, which has not been solved for years.

Crisis in Lampedusa

The first aid center has 600 places and there are currently approximately 7,000 places on the island. migrants from Africa. Many camp on the pier in the harbor. This causes tensions and leads to clashes with the police. More than 4,000 arrived last Tuesday alone. people on more than 100 boats. There were lines of small boats carrying migrants in the harbor waiting to be released. Local authorities are calling for urgent relocation. They also highlight the difficulties encountered in this regard.

This year, of the 4,100 asylum applications to other European countries, only 22 people were transferred from Italy. The rest floods the Apennine Peninsula. After learning of the current crisis in Lampedusa, France has closed its border with Italy and Germany is suspending the ‘voluntary solidarity’ procedure ‘until further notice’.

Fr. Carmelo Rizzo points out that the local community has been committed to welcoming and helping those in need for years. Some did it out of humanitarian or civic spirit, others out of Christian love, but they no longer have the strength and resources to continue doing the work for the state. Residents ask the central authorities for help, but remain in solidarity despite the difficulties.

– When people in need appear, they open their homes and share what they have with migrants – says the priest. – Here we are now in a crisis situation, everyone has been warned: parishes, people of goodwill, because the first aid center cannot accommodate the migrants and they have spread all over the island. We have opened parish rooms for them and are trying to meet their most urgent needs: providing meals, clothing and medicine, because some of them are feeling unwell. Our parish has become a point of reference for people who want to help. I must admit that even tourists help us. Yesterday the situation was critical: the pier was overcrowded, people were sitting in the hot sun, there was no water. Once they had satisfied their thirst and hunger, the situation improved and there were no more tensions. Although this situation has been going on since 2013, people can still organize within half an hour, open the doors of their homes and give to migrants what they have. We do what needs to be done. There is still great solidarity. We helped the parishioners until late at night. The nuns have set up a special crisis support structure for women with children, he added.

Source: Do Rzeczy