THIS year migrant numbers arriving by sea to Spain have more than tripled since last year.
Almost 21,500 migrants, mostly Algerians and Moroccans, have crossed the strait of Gibraltar in 2017, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
Last year, just 6,046 migrants made the crossing but the treacherous journey has also meant the number of people who died has gone up to 223, 95 more than 2016.
“At the end of the year, the tally is devastating,” said the Spanish Commission for Refugees.
Spanish authorities are struggling to keep up as migrants are using increasingly desperate methods, including jet skis, inflatables and dinghies.
Human Rights Association of Andalucia’s Carlos Arce says the increase from Algeria is due to ‘the economic situation in the country, which has deteriorated in the last three years’ following a drop in the price of oil.
While the civil unrest in Morocco is behind the rise in arrivals.
Despite migrant numbers in Spain tripling, Italy and Greece, once the main entry point into Europe have seen a decrease in arrivals.