Migrants are taken to the port of Almeria after being rescued in the Alboran Sea, in Almeria, southeastern Spain. Credit: EPA/CARLOS BARBA
Migrants are taken to the port of Almeria after being rescued in the Alboran Sea, in Almeria, southeastern Spain. Credit: EPA/CARLOS BARBA

Data from the International Organization for Migration showed that more than 80,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe so far this year, with 1,730 victims.

The UN Migration Agency International Organization for Migration (IOM) said 80,602 migrants and refugees entered Europe as of September 23, with Spain the top destination this year. 


In a statement, IOM said total arrivals thus far compare with 133,465 arrivals through the same period last year, and 302,175 at this point in 2016. 

IOM's Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,730 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. 

Figures from Spain and Italy 

Spain, with 44 percent of all arrivals through the year (35,594 as of September 23), continues to receive seaborne migrants in September at a volume nearly twice that of Greece and more than six times that of Italy. 

The country has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined. Italy's arrivals through late September are the lowest recorded at this point in almost five years. 

IOM Rome's Flavio Di Giacomo said Italy's 21,024 arrivals of irregular migrants by sea this year represent a decline of nearly 80 percent from last year's totals at this time. 

The situation in Greece 

IOM Athens' Christine Nikolaidou said that arrivals on the Greek islands last week brought the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece to 22,821 through 23 September. Sea arrivals to Greece this year by irregular migrants appeared to have peaked in daily volume in April, when they averaged at around 100 per day. That volume dipped through the following three months then picked up again in August and again in September, already this year's busiest month - 3,536 arrivals in 23 days, over 150 per day. 

Land border crossing also surged in April (to nearly 4,000 arrivals) but have since fallen back, with fewer than 2,000 crossings in each of the past four months.
 

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