April 22, 2016 12:51:19 am
Reportage on one of the biggest-ever transnational mass movements of panic-stricken people won the Pulitzer prize for Breaking News Photography this week. The prize was shared by The New York Times and Reuters, whose photographers documented the huge scale of the migrant crisis as it swept across Europe, and the individual pain of families struggling to find a new life in the turmoil.
The war in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East has seen an unprecedented flow of migrants to Europe. While the Syrian conflict has been the major driver of the migration, people have been fleeing war, abuses and poverty in Afghanistan, Iraq, Eritrea and Kosovo as well. Between January 2014 and now, at least 8,200 have drowned after the rickety, overcrowded boats they have been herded into by human smugglers have capsized in the sometimes choppy waters of the Mediterranean. The latest tragedy occurred on April 16, when a large vessel went down off Tobruk in Libya — the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and International Organisation for Migration (IMO) fear some 500 migrants drowned, making this one of the worst disasters of the crisis in the Mediterranean Sea.
5 Worst Tragedies
April 19, 2015: A boat that had just left Zuwarah at night capsized 60 miles from the Libyan coast. Over 800 migrants were killed.
Sept 11, 2014: 500 killed after a ship capsized off the coast of Malta, killing Syrian, Palestinian, Egyptian and Sudanese refugees.
April 16, 2016: 500 feared killed after a large vessel went down off Tobruk in Libya.
April 13, 2015: Over 400 were feared drowned after a migrant boat sank 110 km off the Libyan coast.
Sept 15, 2014: Over 200 believed killed after tragedy off the Libya coast.
2015: 1,000,000+ landed in Europe by sea
2016: 130,000 estimated until February-end
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