Geneva, Feb 16 (IANS) The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday said 84,320 refugee and migrant maritime arrivals have been recorded in Europe since the beginning of the year.
The vast majority (78,333 arrivals) have been reported in Greece, with the remaining 5,987 registered in Italy, Xinhua reported.
This month’s sea arrivals in Greece are considerably lower than the influx recorded in January, with IOM indicating last week that bad weather had significantly hampered migrant crossings.
Figures show that some 16,140 people reached the southeastern European country in the first half of February compared to 62,193 for the whole of January.
The Eastern Mediterranean route separating Turkey and Greece remains by far the deadliest passage, claiming the lives of 320 people since the start of 2016.
Ninety individuals have died while crossing the Central Mediterranean passage which links North Africa with Italy.