300 immigrants arrive in Canary Islands

Aug. 20, 2006 at 8:30 PM

CANARY ISLANDS, Spain, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- More than 300 illegal immigrants from northwest Africa have arrived in Spain's Canary Islands, the BBC reported.

More than 500 migrants reached land Friday, and the Canary Islands' regional government has asked Madrid for help in what it calls an "immigration avalanche."

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero interrupted his vacation in the Canaries to visit overcrowded reception centers, the BBC said.

About 17,000 illegal immigrants have made the dangerous journey from the African mainland to the Canaries so far this year. The number is reportedly three times higher than for all of 2005.

The latest immigrants arrived in small boats and were immediately treated for hypothermia and dehydration.

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