Bad weather in February causes drop in migrants in Greece

Geneva, Feb 12 (IANS) Around 5,100 refugee and migrant maritime arrivals were reported in Greece in the first 10 days of February, a significant decrease compared to the 72,193 arrivals recorded in January.

“Last weekend’s high winds and low temperatures, which saw ferry services to the islands diverted due to rough seas, resulted in a dramatic drop in the number of migrants risking their lives trying to reach Greece,” Xinhua quoted International Organisation for Migration (IOM) as saying on Friday.

So far this year, 83,201 migrants and refugees have reached European shores, with the bulk of arrivals (77,303) registered in Greece.

According to Hellenic police, around 44 percent of January arrivals in the southeastern European country were Syrian, 27 percent Afghan and 17 percent Iraqi.

IOM said 410 people have lost their lives while attempting to reach Greece and Italy since the beginning of 2016.

The Eastern Mediterranean route separating Turkey and Greece remains by far the deadliest passage, claiming the lives of 320 people since the start of the year.

Ninety individuals have died while crossing the Central Mediterranean passage which links North Africa with Italy.

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