National park in Florida Keys closed after 300 migrants make landings over weekend
A U.S. national park comprising a cluster of uninhabited islands in the Florida Keys was closed Monday after 300 migrants made 10 landings there over the weekend, officials said.
Dry Tortugas National Park, about 70 miles west of Key West, was closed so law enforcement and medical personnel could evaluate the migrants before moving them to Key West, the park tweeted.
"The closure, which is expected to last several days, is necessary for the safety of visitors and staff because of the resources and space needed to attend to the migrants," park officials said in their statement.
The park added that ferry and sea plane services were also temporarily suspended.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a tweet that at least 88 migrants were from Cuba.
"Like elsewhere in the Florida Keys, the park has recently seen an increase in people arriving by boat from Cuba and landing on the islands of Dry Tortugas National Park," park officials said in a news release. "Park first responders provide food, water and basic medical attention until the Department of Homeland Security arrives and takes the lead."
The national park is at the southern tip of the continental U.S. and attracts scuba divers and snorkelers for its coral reefs, nesting sea turtles, tropical fish and shipwrecks. It's also where sharks gather for their annual underwater mating dance.
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