34 migrants die, many missing as boat capsizes off Syria's coast
A boat carrying migrants from Lebanon capsized off Syria's coast Thursday afternoon leaving 34 people dead, Reuters said citing Syrian port authorities. 14 migrants were rescued.
Syrian state media quoted one survivor as saying the boat carried over 150 people, which would leave over 100 migrants still missing at sea.
The boat reportedly sank in an area near the coastal city of Tartus.
Some of the survivors were quoted as saying that they sailed from the Lebanese coastal town of Minyeh several days ago, aiming to reach Europe, and that the boat was carrying people of different nationalities, most of them Lebanese and Syrians.
Thousands of Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians have left Lebanon on boats over the past months for better opportunities abroad as a worsening economic crisis has left tens of thousands of people without jobs and the Lebanese local currency has dramatically lost value.
Lebanon, a country of 6 million, houses 1 million Syrian refugees. Over three-quarter of the country's population has been pulled into poverty after the beginning of the economic meltdown in late 2019.