08/13/2014 18:01 GMT
by Laure FILLON
MADRID, August 13, 2014 (AFP) - Spain and Italy struggled to cope Wednesday with a huge surge of African immigrants, plucking more than 2,300 people from flimsy vessels in just 24 hours as they made desperate attempts to reach the shores of southern Europe.
Enticed by a spell of calm weather, the number of Africans risking their lives on dinghies has surged to unprecedented levels, officials said.
Spain's government said it was sending nearly 500 police reinforcements to cope with the flow.