TIME Italy

340 Migrants Lost in Mediterranean in Recent Days

ITALY-MIGRANTS-REFUGEES-RESCUE
ANDREAS SOLARO—AFP/Getty Images Migrants and refugees wrapped in survival foil blankets relax aboard a responder vessel bound for Italy, on Nov. 7, 2016 after a rescue operation off the Libyan coast in the Mediterranean sea.

Now over 4,500 migrants have died or are missing in attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea this year

A migration organization says that about 340 migrants have died or gone missing in four Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks over the past two-and-a-half days.

Flavio Di Giacomo, Italy spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, says that brings to over 4,500 the number of migrants who have died or disappeared so far this year making the risky sea voyage, the deadliest year on record.

Di Giacomo said Thursday that the recent toll includes a rescue overnight by Doctors without Borders of 27 migrants, who reported that more than 130 people had been on board their rubber dinghy when it sank. Seven bodies were recovered.

Di Giacomo said the toll is increasing this year as smugglers are forcing departures despite rough winter seas.

 

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