Hundreds of Migrants Rescued at Sea, Brought to Italy

Italian authorities rescued the vessel after delays in responding to its distress calls.

Courtesy: Alarm Phone

Over 670 migrants, including 52 children, were rescued by the Italian Coast Guard this week and transferred to the southern city of Reggio Calabria, Italy's LaC News24 reported.

Alarm Phone, an independent organization that alerts authorities to distress calls from migrant ships, began hearing reports earlier in the week that two ships with hundreds of passengers each were in distress in a territory shared by Malta and Italy.

Alarm Phone said it had continuously updated Italian and Maltese authorities as to the boats' locations but that each country had delayed its rescue efforts.

It's unclear which of the two vessels the rescued migrants came from. They are believed to have departed from Libya before getting stranded in the Mediterranean after their engine failed. Alarm Phone told The Messenger it believes the second boat is still missing, and it is currently investigating its whereabouts.

Volunteers will help process the migrants at a former middle school before they are transferred to centers across the country, according to LaC News24.

Between January and March, over 400 migrants died crossing the Mediterranean, making it the deadliest quarter for migrants in the region since 2017, according to UN estimates. Over 20,000 migrants have died attempting to cross the Mediterranean since 2014, per the UN.

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