Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 1,072 in First Week of 2018, with 81 Deaths
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The UN migration agency, IOM, said Tuesday that 1,072 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea during the first week of 2018, and 81 people had died crossing the Mediterranean.
IOM spokesperson Joel Millman said that around 450 people landed in both 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," Millman said at a UN media briefing, Xinhua news agency reported.
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.
The migrant agency said that its Rome representative reported Monday that IOM staff gathering testimony of survivors of a shipwreck that occurred Saturday morning determined that 64 people lost their lives after leaving Libya.
They were on a rubber dinghy reportedly carrying 150 men, women and children.
The Italian Coast Guard Ship "Diciotti" rescued 86 migrants who survived the accident.