Around 170 people are presumed to have lost their life following two separate shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, according to the UNHCR. Italian navy reports show that a vessel sunk near the Libyan coast, while Moroccan and Spanish authorities said that they are trying to find a missing vessel in the West of the Mediterranean.
Around 2,200 people lost their lives in 2018 while attempting to cross to Europe. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said, “We cannot close our eyes when this amount of people are dying in Europe.”
Apparently, the first boat which has 53 people aboard was reported missing in the Alborab Sea in the West of the Mediterranean sea. One of the survivors is currently receiving treatment in Morocco after more than 24 hours in the water. Searches so far have no yielded any results.
According to the International Organisation of Migrants (IOM), the second dinghy left Libya on Saturday. Speaker Flavio di Giacomo said that the three people who were rescued said there were 120 people who left Garabulli in Libya. Navy Rear Admiral Fabio Agostini told RaiNews24 that Italian army planes provided two rafts to the sinking boat. The three people are suffering from severe hypothermia and are being treated in Lampedusa after being picked up by helicopter.
The IOM said that 4,126 migrants crossed to Europe in the first 16 days of 2019, more than double the same time period last year.