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Published on February 11th, 2018 | by Georgia Archonti


Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 1072 in first week of 2018; Deaths Reach 81

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 1,072 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea during the first week of 2018, with around 450 each landing in Italy and Greece and the remainder in Spain. This compares with almost an identical number – 1,159 – coming ashore during a similar period in 2017.

Data on deaths at sea, however, are much grimmer.  Through the first eight days of the new year, a total of 81 Mediterranean Sea deaths of irregular migrants or refugees were recorded. Five of those deaths were in Western Mediterranean waters off Spain and Morocco.

The rest – 76 with a possibility of many more – were recorded in the waters between Italy and Libya. IOM recorded just 26 migrant deaths on Mediterranean Sea lanes during the month of December.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Monday (8 January) that IOM staff gathering testimony of survivors of a shipwreck that occurred Saturday morning determined that 64 people lost their lives after leaving Libya on a rubber dinghy reportedly carrying 150 men, women and children. The Italian Coast Guard Ship ‘Diciotti’ rescued 86 migrants who survived to the incident, while recovering the remains of eight others, with the balance – believed to be 64 people – now lost at sea.

Survivors arriving in the port of Catania, Siciliy, on Monday morning provided the following details of the incident: the migrants left from Garabuli (Libya) after midnight between Friday and Saturday morning. After some eight to nine hours at sea, their over-crowded craft began to take on water. Many panicked and fell into the water.

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