Coastguards have recovered the dead of 41 migrants off the coast of Tunisia, as the number of people dying trying to reach Europe from Africa continues to rise.
According to a senior official, almost 200 people have drowned in the last ten days, reports BBC.
Tunisian morgues were running out of room, he said, and officials were struggling to keep up with the spike in attempted crossings.
“On Tuesday, we had more than 200 bodies, well beyond the capacity of the hospital, which creates a health problem,” said Faouzi Masmoudi, justice official in the port city of Sfax where the central morgue for an area of around a million people is sited.
“There is a problem with large numbers of corpses arriving on the shore. We don’t know who they are or what shipwreck they came from and the number is increasing.”
According the UN’s migration agency, a total of roughly 300 individuals died during the previous week and a half, and 824 people have died this year, with those leaving from the Libyan coast are included.
Houssem Eddine Jebabli of the national guard told Reuters, the decomposed condition of the recovered bodies indicated that they had been submerged for several days.
According to him, the total number of fatalities in such a short period was unprecedented.
Tunisia has become a transit point for irregular migrants, primarily from Sub-Saharan Africa, attempt-ing to reach Europe by sea.
The number of migrant deaths at sea has varied, with the UN’s Missing Migrants Project reporting that 300 migrants died in the Central Mediterranean in the last 10 days alone.