The number of refugees from Africa to the Canary Islands has risen sharply in recent days. In 48 hours, more than a thousand migrants made the crossing, a number that has not been observed in ten years.
Most of the migrants were discovered in crowded boats off the coast and brought ashore.
The Spanish government announced new measures this week. The route from West Africa to the Canary Islands has been gaining popularity again for several years. An earlier peak was the year 2006, when more than 30,000 migrants reached the Spanish archipelago.
This year, about 7,500 migrants from Africa arrived in the Canary Islands. That is almost three times as much as last year so far.
Canary Islands are close to the West African coast
The Canary Islands are 100 kilometers from the West African coast. However, many of the refugees and other migrants are said to have left Senegal, more than 1,000 kilometers away. If the islands are missed, ships often get into trouble due to the rough open ocean.
The total number of migrants who die during the dangerous crossing is not known. Spanish media do report that at least 250 people have already drowned this year. Rescue ships have to take action regularly to help the often shaky boats.