Surge in Migrant Arrivals in Greece

Greece - Since the beginning of October, IOM reports that over 68,000 migrants have now crossed into Greece, with the majority arriving on the island of Lesvos (41,954). Smaller numbers have arrived on the islands of Samos (10,283) and Chios (6,393).  Despite deteriorating weather conditions, the flow of migrants and refugees arriving at the main entry points continues to average over 4,500 a day.
The Eastern Mediterranean route is also becoming deadlier. Two shipwreck incidents were recorded off the coast of Lesvos in less than 24 hours this week. At least 10 migrants are believed to have died.

On Wednesday (14/10) a wooden boat carrying 24 migrants capsized off the Turkish coast just before midnight. The Turkish Coast Guard managed to rescue 21 migrants, who informed authorities that three people were missing. The Hellenic Coast Guard began search operations and on Thursday (15/10) recovered three bodies off Lesvos’ Mithimna port. The dead were identified as Syrian nationals, all female, an adult, one child and one infant.

Another incident was reported off the coast of Lesvos that same morning as a wooden boat said to have been carrying at least 35 migrants capsized. The Hellenic Coast Guard rescued 39 migrants. Eight more people are believed to be missing. IOM staff in Lesvos report that the remains of seven victims (4 children, 2 women and 1 man) already have been recovered. A mother with one surviving child has reportedly been asked to identify the remains of three other children, thought to be hers.

Mediterranean Developments
Arrivals by Sea and Deaths in the Mediterranean: 1 January – 15 October, 2015

Country of Arrival




137,313 (IOM est.)

(Central Med route)





(Eastern Med route)



(Western Med and Western African routes)

Estimated Total



Data on deaths of migrants compiled by IOM Research Dept. All numbers are minimum estimates. Arrivals estimates are based on data from respective governments and IOM field offices.* Data for Greece is derived by the new and updated data collected by IOM Regional Staff in Greece and Greek authorities (1/1/2015 – 13/10/2015).

Italy saw the arrival of 137,313 migrants and refugees from January through 15 October 2015 – a slight drop from the number recorded during the same period in 2014, when arrivals topped 140,000.
According to IOM estimates, at least 3,117 migrants have lost their lives in the Mediterranean since the beginning of the year, often because of bad weather conditions and the acute disrepair of the overcrowded vessels used by the smugglers.

According to data provided by Greek authorities and collected by IOM Regional Staff in Greece, over 472,000 migrants have arrived by sea to Greece as of 15 October. Figures for the period of 1 January – 30 September 2015 show that, out of about 393,000 arrivals in Greece, the most represented country of origin was Syria (277,899), followed by Afghanistan (76,620), Iraq (21,552) and Pakistan (14,323.) Last year, during the same period, arrivals registered in Greece totalled 31,000.

For the latest figures on arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean please visit: http://missingmigrants.iom.int/

For further information, please contact Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. IOM Greece, Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Kelly Namia, Tel: +302109919040, +302109912174, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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