A total of 1,072 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea during the first week of this year.
A total of 1,072 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea during the first week of this year, with around 450 each landing in Italy and Greece and the remainder in Spain, the United Nations migration agency reported on Tuesday. At least 81 are unknown to have died. The arrivals till January 8 compare with almost an identical number – 1,159 – who came ashore during a similar period of 2017, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said.
However, 81 boat migrants perished as of January 8 – a more than seven-fold increase compared with the 11 people who died trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2017, IOM reported. Five of this year’s deaths were in Western Mediterranean waters off Spain and Morocco, IOM said. The rest – 76 with a possibility of many more people having perished – were recorded in the waters between Italy and Libya.
As many as 64 people drowned when a rubber dinghy reportedly carrying 150 men, women and children, sank off Libya on Saturday. Only eight bodies – all female – were recovered so far, IOM stated. The Italian Coast Guard Ship ‘Diciotti’ rescued 86 migrants who survived to the incident, IOM said. IOM said it recorded just 26 migrant deaths in the Mediterranean in December.