Some 1,500 migrants reached Spain’s Canary Islands over the weekend, part of a wave of migrants leaving sub-Saharan Africa in recent months.
A total of 1,457 migrants reached the Spanish islands off the West African coast between Friday evening and Sunday morning, according to Spanish authorities, who clarified that all the people on board the boats came from sub-Saharan Africa.
A thousand people arrived on Saturday, including 321 aboard a wooden boat to the island of El Hierro, a record number of people in a single boat.
On Sunday, 783 people arrived in El Hierro, 98 in Tenerife and 150 in Gran Canaria, according to the Red Cross.
The passengers included women and young children.
The dangerous 100-kilometer crossing from Morocco or Western Sahara to the seven Canary Islands meant hundreds of people failed to make it and died at sea.
The latest data from the Spanish Interior Ministry shows that 23,537 migrants reached the Canaries between the start of the year and October 15, an increase of 80 percent compared to the same period last year.
Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said last week that the recent rise in the number was the result of “political destabilization in the Sahel.”
(with press wires)