Migrants continue to flow into Greece, Balkans: IOM

    Migrants continue to flow into Greece, Balkans: IOM

    Nov 6, Athens: An estimated 28,000 migrants and refugees crossed into Greece during three-day period from Friday to Sunday, according to Hellenic Police figures.

    According to International Office for Migration (IOM) staff, the disparity can be attributed to the winter weather and rough seas, which are reducing the number of days that migrants can safely travel from Turkey. Numbers of migrants and refugees leaving the country are also influenced by the days of the week on which ferries leave the Aegean islands for Athens and Kavala, IOM said.

    IOM estimates that over 200,000 migrants arrived in Greece by sea during October, 2015. During the month, deaths at sea have also risen sharply. Last week there were seven fatal shipwrecks. The Hellenic Coast Guard says that during October it recovered 106 bodies, but many more are reported missing.

    The deadliest incident was off the coast of Lesvos last week. Following the completion of search operations, the Coast Guard announced that 274 migrants were rescued and 42 bodies were recovered.  

    In the month of October alone, IOM counted the deaths of 398 migrants on all sea routes to Europe. IOM recorded at least 40 drownings or reports of migrants missing in Spanish waters; on the Eastern Mediterranean route between Greece and Turkey over 220 deaths, plus an estimated 138 in the waters between North Africa and Sicily.

    According the Early Warning Information Sharing Network implemented by IOM Greece and IOM Western Balkans, the number in border crossings rose almost 40 per cent in the last eleven days since October 21, compared to the same period last year.

    The Oslo Times


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