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1,213 migrants have arrived in El Hierro in the last 48 hours, a record number that surpasses an island with little infrastructure


A total of 686 migrants arrived this Thursday on the Canary Island of El Hierro (Atlántico) in five precarious boats.  (EFE/Gelmert Finol)
A total of 686 migrants arrived this Thursday on the Canary Island of El Hierro (Atlántico) in five precarious boats. (EFE/Gelmert Finol)

686 migrants have arrived in a single day from the island of El Hierro (Atlántico) in five precarious boats. They join the other 521 who arrived on Tuesday in La Restinga, a small port to the south, aboard four other canoes. This is a record in terms of numbers, with an arrival of 1,213 migrants to the island of just over 11,000 inhabitants and with little infrastructure to serve them.

The first cayuco of the day, as the emergency teams have informed EFE, arrived around one in the afternoon with 129 migrants of sub-Saharan origin on board, including six women and five minors. Maritime Rescue received a sighting notice from the fishermen and decided to escort the canoe. They were treated by the usual system and without any hospital transfer, since they were all in apparent good health.

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After this, the second boat of the day arrived with 43 sub-Saharan men on board, after being sighted by the Salvamar Adhara a mile and a half from the port, so it went to meet them. While I was going to look for that boat, a third was located three miles from the La Restinga dock. There were 258 people traveling, including 13 women and 25 minors, in what would be the second largest canoe recorded in the entire history of the Canary Route.

On the fourth barge, which was also escorted to the port by Salvamento Marítimo, there were 187 migrants traveling, including a woman and eight minors. The last boat of the day arrived around six in the afternoon, with a total of 69 migrants, all of them men.

The emergency services are assisting the 69 occupants of the last of the five cayucos that have arrived on the island of El Hierro.  (EFE/Gelmert Finol)
The emergency services are assisting the 69 occupants of the last of the five cayucos that have arrived on the island of El Hierro. (EFE/Gelmert Finol)

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The massive arrival of migrants once again puts in check the infrastructure of a small island that is not used to receiving this volume of people and that does not have sufficient or appropriate spaces to keep them in police custody for the maximum of 72 hours established by law. In El Hierro, the Ministry of the Interior has been setting up spaces such as docks or warehouses, but they are unhealthy and overcrowded.

The figures for irregular entries from the Ministry of the Interior show a 20% increase in the archipelago as of September 30, not including the figures for this last week and taking into account that the last quarter of the year has not yet concluded, when a greater number of movements through water because it is the best weather conditions take place for navigation between the African continent and the Canary archipelago. However, the cause that has the most weight is the political crisis that broke out in Senegal a few months ago.

The Senegalese government has dissolved the main opposition party and imprisoned its leader. In this context, the people have taken to the streets, but protests and demonstrations are being repressed with great force. The country’s economy does not help either, according to the UN, 39% of the population lives below the poverty line and 75% of the population is under 25 years old, which makes many young people try to find a future on European soil. .



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