Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016: 225,095; Deaths: 2,889
Italy - IOM reports an estimated 225,095 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 30 June, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain.
Deaths so far this year are 2,889 compared with 1,838 through the first six months of 2015. In other words, fatalities in the Mediterranean Sea in 2016 exceed last year’s mid-year total by 1,050. There were 383 deaths in the month of June – just under 13 per day.
IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi reported this week that as of 28 June 2016, the Libyan coastguard had rescued 8,648 migrants and registered 160 fatalities for 2016. He added that in the past week it reported these incidents:
23 June: Rescued 5 boats with 1,000 migrants (of whom 29 were female) near Az Zawiyah.
25 June: Rescued 1,000 migrants (of whom 180 were female) also near Az Zawiyah.
26 June: Rescued, during two incidents, 144 and 120 migrants near Az Zawiyah.
27 June: Rescued 267 migrants (46 of them female, including one pregnant woman) outside Tajoura.
“Migrants continue making the perilous journey at great risk, travelling under precarious conditions and on ill-equipped boats, leaving them highly vulnerable to both the arduous travel and to the exploitation of organized criminal networks along the way,” said Belbeisi.
IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported Thursday 3,337 migrants have been brought to land since IOM’s last report on 28 June. Other rescue operations are being carried out and IOM expects further arrivals on Friday.
Di Giacomo also reported Thursday that a shipwreck occurred 20 miles off the Libyan coast, where the Italian coastguard ship “Diciotti” rescued 107 people from a partially submerged rubber dinghy. The coastguards recovered the corpses of 10 migrants, reportedly all women.
The Italian navy also announced it has raised from the sea floor a migrant ship that sank off Sicily on 18 April 2015. During a press conference held Thursday, authorities said there were likely 300 bodies on board. Considering that 180 bodies were previously recovered, the final death toll could therefore be around 500, rather than the 800 initially reported last year.
Di Giacomo said that the total number of men, women and children rescued at sea near Italy in 2016, including those who have not yet been brought to land, should now be about 66,600.
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