Spain : Country could top Greece in migrant sea arrivals - IOM

African migrants crossing the Libya sea

"It's important that more alternative legal pathways are established to avoid that people come to Europe, to Spain through these risky ways, to avoid people risking their lives at the sea", Otero said.

On the same day, 12 migrants arrived in waters off the Spanish territory of Ceuta in northern Morocco on jet-skis, with one - a 28-year-old man from Guinea - drowning before he could be rescued, authorities said. The figure marks a significant increase to a year ago, when 13,246 migrants arrived in Spain in all of 2016, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The pace has quickened so rapidly in recent months that some experts think the country could overtake Greece in the number of newcomers arriving by boat this year.

Spain has to prepare for an increased influx of migrants and refugees as it now does not have the necessary infrastructure, Rosa Otero, a deputy spokeswoman for UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Spain, told Sputnik. Despite Spain's increase, migration across Europe is down overall when juxtaposed with last year's numbers.

Every year, thousands of sub-Saharan African migrants living illegally in Morocco try to scale the border fences surrounding Ceuta and Melilla, Spain's other North African enclave, in a bid to enter Europe.

Italy is on track to remain by far the top first destination for migrants seeking to reach European shores.

Perseid meteor shower to peak on August 12
According to meteor expert Bill Cooke (who, incidentally, is on NASA's payroll), it's the most popular meteor shower of the year. A dazzling display of shooting stars will light up Irish skies as the best meteor shower of the year takes place.

"People are talking about going to Spain".

This is a different tactic to many migrants arriving from Libya, who are often packed onto leaky, overloaded boats, with the intention of summoning aid as quickly as possible. It seems like it is safer to go through Morocco to Spain than through Libya.

Even if the number of migrants to Spain continues to rise, it is unlikely to reach the record of some 40,000 arrivals the country had in 2006, according to the Spanish Red Cross.

The migrants either make it to the Spanish coast or are intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea by Spain's marine rescue service and then taken ashore.

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