12:44 GMT +318 January 2020
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    During three first months of 2015 at least 486 asylum seekers drowned in the Mediterranean, which is 10 times more than the same period last year, according to an International Organization for Migration (IOM) spokesperson Joel Millman.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik), Yulia Shamporova – The number of refugees dying while crossing the Mediterranean could increase due to escalating conflicts in the region, an International Organization for Migration (IOM) spokesperson Joel Millman told Sputnik Tuesday.

    During three first months of 2015 at least 486 asylum seekers drowned in the Mediterranean, which is 10 times more than the same period last year, according to preliminary figures supplied by the IOM.

    “We know that things can get much worse, it is impossible to predict what can happen in Libya the next few weeks, or especially, considering what is going on now in Yemen,” Millman said.

    The IOM spokesperson emphasized that the number of deaths in the Mediterranean varies every month.

    “We had a week in March when 300 people died, the same week 29 people died on a rescue boat, they were rescued, but the boat didn’t have medical equipment, and they died of hypothermia… But then we had another week when 4300 people came during five days and nobody died, no single death, which was extraordinary for that number of people,” Millman added.

    Millman also said that weather is a contributing factor in the deaths of refugees.

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    Tags:
    International Organization of Migration (IOM), Mediterranean Sea
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