204,311 migrants, refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 — IOM

204,311 migrants, refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016
204,311 migrants, refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016

GENEVA, May 31 (KUNA) — About 204,311 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea since the beginning of 2016 until May 30, the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) said reported on Tuesday.
After a surge in reported shipwrecks and other incidents at sea during the past eight days, estimated deaths through 30 May this year have risen to 2,443 on all Mediterranean routes – a 34 percent increase over the first five months of 2015, it added.
For the first three weeks of May 2016, IOM estimated just 13 fatalities in three incidents. None of them occurred on the eastern Mediterranean route between Turkey and Greece, where through the first four months of the year, nearly 400 migrants and refugees drowned, it said. The events of this past week – with at least 1,000 deaths – have obviously changed our assessment, it noted. The past eight days marked one of the deadliest periods yet in the migration crisis, which is now in its fourth year, it pointed out. Over 13,000 migrants were rescued in the Channel of Sicily between Monday 23 May to Sunday 29 May, bringing the total rescued through May 2016 to 47,600 men, women and children, it said.
Despite the increase of arrivals recorded in this period, the number of migrants who have arrived in Italy this year is almost precisely the same as during this period last year (47,463 as of 31 May 2015), it said.
The worst incident occurred last Thursday and involved an engineless wooden boat with over 550 people on board.
The vessel was being towed by another smuggling boat, which had an estimated 800 people on board. After several hours, the smaller boat began to take on water, it stated. (end) ta.hm

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