An estimated 204,311 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through May 30, arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain. The International organization for Migration (IOM) announced on Tuesday. 

This compared with 91,860 migrants and refugees who arrived in Europe across the Mediterranean in the first five months of last year. 

The number of estimated deaths at sea increased by 34%, reaching 2,443 on all known migrant routes in 2016 through May 30, IOM said in a statement. 

“The past eight days marks one of the deadliest periods yet in the migration crisis, which is now in its fourth year,” the organization said in a statement, referring to at least 1,000 estimated deaths over this past week. 

“he increase in numbers of arrivals is attributable, in part, to better weather, and in part to the use of bigger wooden boats that can carry more people than the rubber boats usually used,” Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean in Rome, commented in the statement. 

“Smugglers put over 700 migrants in the wooden boats, whereas the rubber ones generally carry only 100 to 120 people. […] One accident can result in hundreds of fatalities.” 

Most of the asylum seekers who entered Europe by sea this year, arrived in Greece (156,364). Italy followed with 46,856 arrivals.

 

 

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