There are more on the way, according to Spanish authorities.
These numbers are issued by the Spanish Maritime Rescue Service:
- Five boats carrying 526 people arrived at El Hierro, the smallest and westernmost of the islands.
- In addition, five boats arrived in Tenerife and Gran Canaria with just under 400 people on board.
- Two other boats carrying an estimated 150 people were on their way to El Hierro on Friday evening.
Local authorities told Spanish television on Friday evening that all nurses and doctors had been removed from their normal work to deal with the situation.
At the same time, the archipelago is demanding “immediate exceptional measures” from both Spain and the European Union.
Small towns struggle with capacity.
Canary Islands Prime Minister Fernando Clavijo described the situation as unbearable.
– We are amazed and horrified by the silence of the Spanish government, which seems completely indifferent to the events related to migration and the pressures that all the islands face, says Clavijo.
European Union leaders met on Friday for an informal summit in Granada, Spain. Here, the influx of asylum seekers, especially to the Italian island of Lampedusa, was at the top of the agenda.
VG visited Lampedusa earlier this fall. Read the story “Cemetery of the Sea” here.
Immigration is the biggest challenge facing the European Union at the present time. Many of them have called for a common European policy on migrant distribution and expenditures.
For this reason, this week the EU Council of Ministers adopted a new charter on asylum.
The agreement means more stringent and uniform rules.
Through so-called mandatory solidarity arrangements, all countries commit to accepting a certain percentage of asylum seekers.
However, countries can choose to pay instead.
The escape route to the Canary Islands is used more frequently as a result of stricter controls in the Mediterranean.
This sea route to Spain is very dangerous. Therefore, shipwrecks are common.
In the first six months of the year, a total of 951 people lost their lives on this road.
This is what the figures of the Spanish Aid Organization show Caminando Fronteras.
Between January and September, nearly 15,000 refugees arrived in the Canary Islands. This is approximately 20 percent more than in the same period in 2022, according to Spanish authorities.
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