Nearly 180,000 migrants reach EU by sea in 2016: IOM

Updated: 2016-04-20 03:13


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Nearly 180,000 migrants reach EU by sea in 2016: IOM

Migrants sit in a rubber dinghy during a rescue operation by SOS Mediterranee ship Aquarius off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa in this handout received April 18, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

GENEVA -- Some 178,882 maritime migrants and refugees have reached Europe through April 13 this year while 737 have died attempting to do so, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday.

The bulk of these arrivals has taken place in Greece, a country which has seen 153,625 people reach its shores since Jan. 1.

The IOM indicated that in the first three months of this year, close to 1,500 sea-borne migrants were reaching the southern European nation every day.

This number has significantly dropped over the last 10 days however, with fewer than 70 refugees and migrants arriving on a daily basis.

Italy, for its part, has seen 24,581 migrants enter its territory by sea, while 648 and 28 migrants have arrived in Spain and Cyprus respectively.

To date, 376 individuals have lost their lives crossing the Eastern Mediterranean route separating Turkey and Greece.

A further 356 people have died on the central Mediterranean passage separating North Africa and Italy, while five migrants have drowned on the Western Mediterranean and West African routes.