GENEVA, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- A total of 16,775 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe since the start of the year, down from almost 125,000 arrivals over the same period in 2016, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported Tuesday.
According to IOM's latest figures, 13,457 arrivals have been documented in Italy, up from 8,981 in the first two months of last year.
A further 2,318 have been registered in Greece and 1,000 migrants have landed in Spain.
IOM reported that 485 people, including children, had lost their lives so far this year, 60 more than the number of migrants who died on sea routes to Europe last year.
Most deaths, which are 444, have been recorded on the central Mediterranean Sea passage linking North Africa with Italy.
A further 41 have died on eastern and western Mediterranean routes.
A record 5,079 migrants and refugees died last year while crossing the Mediterranean Sea, up from 3,771 fatalities in 2015.