Baku, November 3, AZERTAC
More than 218,000 migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean to Europe in October – a monthly record and more than during the whole of 2014, the United Nations said Monday, according to the Jamaica Observer.
In October, 218,394 people made the perilous crossing – all but 8,000 of them landing in Greece – compared to 216,054 Mediterranean arrivals during all of last year, UN figures show.
The soaring numbers of arrivals last month brought to over 744,000 the number of people who have made the journey so far this year.
The October figures show that despite the increasingly harrowing conditions at sea at the onset of winter, refugees from Syria and other trouble spots continue to pile into boats heading west, fearing that Europe is about to close its borders.
Among the more than 600,000 migrants and refugees who have crossed to Greece since the beginning of the year, 94 per cent come from the world's top 10 refugee-producing countries.
The ballooning number of crossings has had dire consequences, with the numbers of deaths piling up by the day.
Some 3,440 people have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, according to UNHCR numbers last week.