Spanish emergency services say that, just over the weekend, more than 1,600 African migrants havea arrived at Spain’s Canary Islands, or have been rescued at sea. One person had had to be flown to hospital by helicopter.
The BBC reports that there has been a sharp increase, in recent months, in the number of migrants arriving on the Canary Islands in boats that are barely sea worthy, from West Africa.
The islands are just 100km off the coast of North Africa. The Spanish government reports that during the same period last year, 2 557 migrants had arrived at the islands, while this year the total has jumped to 11 000.
Meanwhile, at least 140 migrants Europe bound migrants had drowned last month, when their boat sank off the coast of Senegal. The International Organization for Migration said that the boat, carrying 200 people, had caught on fire and capsized shortly after setting out to sea. The BBC reports that the migrants were attempting to reach mainland Europe via the Canary Islands.
The number of people who are known to have died along the route this year alone is, at 414, almost double that of last year.
Umm Muhammed Umar