A total of 691 refugees and migrants have arrived in Greece by sea during the first 15 days of 2017, according to figures released by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday.
Those arriving in Europe by sea during the same period reached 2,876 individuals, of which 2,185 arrived in Italy and the rest in Greece. Arrivals during the same period in 2016 had reached 23,664.
There was also a drastic increase in the number of deaths in the Mediterranean, however, with 219 people estimated to have lost their lives since the start of 2017 – sharply up from the 91 lost in the first two weeks of 2016. According to reports received in recent days, this number may possible rise by another 200 deaths.