GENEVA, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported Tuesday that some 2,954 migrants and refugees have drowned attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea this year.
Most of these deaths (2,526) have taken place on the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa with Italy.
A further 383 individuals have perished on the Eastern Mediterranean passage separating Turkey and Greece while 45 migrants have died on the Western Mediterranean and Western African routes.
This year's death toll is significantly higher than fatality figures over the same period in 2015, when 1,906 migrant and refugee deaths were recorded through July 30.
The number of arrivals so far this year however is similar to that registered over the same period a year ago.
According to statistics, 240,884 migrants have reached European shores in 2016, up from 220,054 maritime entries between January and July last year.