IOM Says 4,913 Migrants Died in Mediterranean in 2016

Geneva, The International Organization for Migration said that 4,913 people died in the Mediterranean this year while trying to illegally enter Europe.

The 4,913 deaths through December 21 indicate a 2016 average daily death toll of nearly 14 men, women and children per day, IOM said Friday in a statement, adding that many more deaths at sea may have gone unreported this year, particularly between North Africa to Spain where many smaller vessels are believed to have been lost without detection.

“In 2016 the number of arrivals by sea in Italy has kept growing, but the number of migrants dying is up dramatically: over 5,000 people have died in 2016, compared to 3,777 deaths registered in the same period last year. That is nearly more than 2,000 more than in 2014, another year when over 3,000 men, women and children were lost on this dangerous passage,” said IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo.

Di Giacomo added that the number of accidents reflects the poor state of the boats used by migrants as well as the harsh weather conditions at sea this season.

Source: Qatar News Agency