No less than 65 migrants have died after their boat capsized within the Mediterranean off the coast of Tunisia, the UN refugee company says.
Sixteen individuals have been rescued, UNHCR stated in an announcement.
Survivors say the boat left Zuwara in Libya on Thursday and bumped into hassle throughout robust waves.
About 164 individuals died on the route between Libya and Europe within the first 4 months of 2019, UNHCR figures present.
The incident is considered one of many deadliest shipwrecks involving migrants for the reason that begin of the 12 months.
The survivors have been delivered to the coast by the Tunisian Navy and are awaiting permission to disembark. One individual has been transferred to hospital for medical remedy, the UNHCR says.
The navy dispatched a ship as quickly because it heard in regards to the incident and got here throughout a fishing boat selecting up survivors, an announcement from the Tunisian defence ministry stated.
The passengers are understood to have been from sub-Saharan Africa.
“It is a tragic and horrible reminder of the dangers nonetheless confronted by those that try to cross the Mediterranean,” the UNHCR’s Vincent Cochetel stated in an announcement.
Some studies put the quantity on board increased so the toll might rise.
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Media captionLadies and youngsters are being held in camps near fierce preventing in Libya’s capital Tripoli
1000’s of migrants try to cross the Mediterranean to Europe yearly, and Libya is a key departure level.
Those that make the journey usually journey in poorly maintained and overcrowded ships, and lots of have died.
However since mid-2017, the variety of migrant journeys has declined dramatically.
The decline is basically as a result of Italy has engaged Libyan forces to cease migrants from setting off or to return them to Libya if discovered at sea – a coverage condemned by human rights organisations.
Within the first three months of 2019, some 15,900 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe through the three Mediterranean routes – a 17% lower on the identical interval in 2018.
In January, a UN report stated six migrants died crossing the Mediterranean day-after-day in 2018.