Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Migrant Arrivals in Greece Surge 21 Times Compared to Jan. 2015 – Watchdog

A Syrian refugee couple carry their belongings as refugees and migrants arrive aboard the passenger ferry Nissos Rodos at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, January 13, 2016

© REUTERS/ Alkis Konstantinidis

The number of migrants coming ashore in Greece surged 21 times this month compared to the whole of January 2015, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) The agency estimates the number of people arriving in Greece by sea has reached 31,244 since the start of the year. Last January, the Greek coast guard reported a total of 1,472 arrivals. Almost half of the new arrivals were Syrian refugees fleeing the five-year conflict in their home country. Afghan nationals were the second largest group, followed by Iraqis and Iranians, as well as people from North Africa.
The number of shipwreck casualties has also continued to grow in the first month of 2016 due to rough seas. A total of 95 people are estimated to have lost their lives so far.

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