November deadly for migrants crossing Mediterranean, IOM says
Nov 20 2016 by Desiree Burns
Speaking at a press conference held in Geneva, IOM spokesman Leonard Doyle said that this number brings the death toll so far this year to 4,636, already - 1,000 more than in 2015.
The agency said at least 365 people have disappeared and are presumed dead after at least six incidents in the Mediterranean in the past three days. The passengers spent two days on rough seas, where some of the victims fell overboard and others died from exhaustion.
While these figures were much lower than the 728,926 who made it to European shores by November past year, the IOM had recorded a surge in departures from Libya.
Doyle told reporters in Geneva on Friday that 4,636 people have died on the Mediterranean this year, about 1,000 more than through this point in November last year.
The crowded rubber dinghies began taking on water amid bad weather and choppy sea conditions, and that led to hundreds of deaths.
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The recent incidents had many factors in common, the statement said, in that numerous rubber dinghies started to take on water in bad weather, causing the vessel to sink, meaning that many on board drowned. "So they would possibly fall into the category of economic migrants", he said.
An ever-greater number of migrants and refugees are dying in the Mediterranean Sea while trying to reach Europe.
Much smaller numbers of migrants - 5,445 - take the western Mediterranean route to Spain, with 62 people dying attempting that journey so far this year.
"They are destined to be deported or they live underground."The route between Turkey and Greece has been "effectively sealed off" since a deal between the European Union and Turkey last March, Doyle said".