Dozens of migrants feared dead after Mediterranean shipwreck

UN agencies reported that a shipwreck in the Mediterranean last week has raised concerns for the safety of 41 migrants, including three children, citing the accounts of four survivors who were brought to the Italian island of Lampedusa on Wednesday.

The metal boat they were on capsized amidst harsh weather conditions during the night from Thursday to Friday. This incident occurred after they had departed from the Tunisian port of Sfax.

The survivors, consisting of a 13-year-old boy traveling alone, a woman, and two men, were saved by a merchant vessel and subsequently transported to Lampedusa by the Italian coastguard.

In a distinct announcement, the Italian Red Cross, responsible for overseeing the migrant reception center on the island, affirmed that the four individuals were reported to be in overall good health.

The Italian Red Cross confirmed the account that the boat had carried 45 individuals when it sank, and further clarified that the missing individuals were not connected to the survivors in any way.

They were able to survive the shipwreck by using inner tubes to stay afloat, as per the statement.

Amid a stretch of unfavorable weather conditions, this shipwreck marks one of several tragic occurrences reported in the past few days.

On Monday, authorities had informed about shipwrecks off the coast of Tunisia and Western Sahara where 16 migrants had tragically lost their lives.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN’s migration agency, reported on Sunday that two shipwrecks off Lampedusa had left at least 30 people missing.

Situated a mere 90 miles (approximately 145 kilometers) from Tunisia, the small island serves as the initial destination for numerous migrants traveling from North Africa to Europe.

Regrettably, a significant number of these migrants do not survive, rendering the Central Mediterranean migrant route the most fatal in the world.

As of Friday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) data indicates that over 1,800 individuals have lost their lives while attempting the route this year. The recent shipwrecks have further increased this toll to nearly 1,900.

IOM spokesperson Flavio di Giacomo stated that this number is more than twice the count during the corresponding period last year. He also pointed out that this figure is likely an underestimate.

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