Refugee arrivals by sea in Spain triple

"We assume that some of the change is due to the fact that the route [to Spain] is considered a safe route up to the coast through Morocco", Joel Millman, a senior IOM spokesman, said.

Zahara de los Atunes is one of the southernmost parts of Spain: The beach, popular with tourists and known for its tuna, is less than eight miles from the coast of North Africa.

More than 8,000 migrants have arrived by sea in Spain, nearly as many as the 11,713 who have landed in Greece.

"Some people arrive with little strength left, sometimes they got lost, lost the engine, don't have anything to eat or drink in the boat, some have sunburns or burns from the petrol".

Over the past few years, migrants from North Africa and the Middle East have tended to go from Libya to Italy or through Turkey to Greece.

In #Spain, there has been a tripling in the number of undocumented migrants entering the country by sea in 2017 compared to the same period in 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

"Whereas in Spain, the strategy is smaller craft hoping to come in undetected, and undoubtedly some do".

The move was in response to an incident earlier this week when almost 200 would-be migrants breached the border of Spain and Morocco.

On Tuesday, Spanish police found 30 Moroccan and Algerian migrants, ten of which were children, hidden in fairground vehicles in the enclave city. The passengers, mostly from Morocco and neighboring Algeria, were looking for a better life in Europe and using Spain as a doorway.

Both the IOM and the Spanish Red Cross say Spain is well-equipped to manage the new influx despite complaints from some groups that the country's temporary accommodations for migrants already are filled to capacity.

At about 5am on Monday, 186 migrants stormed the border and reached European Union soil.

Faced with the number of recent entry attempts, authorities in Ceuta have chose to close the border for trade for over a week, to allow guards to better man the fence.

Once there, they celebrated, raising their hands in joy as they ran through the streets - with one man kneeling on the floor.

  • Latoya Cobb