Migrants make last-ditch attempt to cross the Channel before Storm Ciaran hits – as figures show number landing in Britain is down one-third on last year
- Unconfirmed figures suggest around 100 migrants arrived in Dover today
- October has seen 1,775 asylum seekers cross the Channel in 38 boats
- According to Gov.uk 26,657 people have made the perilous journey this year
Dozens more migrants arrived in Dover today in a last-ditch attempt to cross the Channel before the bad weather from Storm Ciaran sets in.
While the government is yet to confirm the official figures for today, it is estimated that around 100 migrants were brought into Dover, Kent by UK Border Force before being taken to processing centres by officials.
According to Gov.uk 26,657 people have made the perilous journey across the 21-mile Dover straight in 544 boats so far this year – coming to an average of 48 migrants squashed into each inflatable dinghy.
October alone has seen 1,775 asylum seekers cross the Channel in 38 boats.
Pictured: The graph shows a comparison between the estimated number of migrants arriving into the UK across 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023
Pictured: Photos of migrants arriving at Dover in Kent today, after being picked up by UK Border Force in the Channel
Pictured: Images of migrants arriving at Dover today. While the government is yet to confirm the official figures for today, it is estimated that around 100 migrants arrived
The last arrivals before today came on 26 October when 104 people in just two small boats were intercepted at sea and brought into Dover.
Last year saw a record 45,755 asylum seekers reach the UK by small boat – 60 per cent higher than 2021 when 28,526 migrants arrived.
Today’s Channel crossings are expected to be the last for at least a week, as the Met Office issues several weather warnings ahead of the arrival of Storm Ciarán this week.
The South of England is forecast to be hit hard, particularly in coastal areas where gusts of between 70 and 80mph are predicted, possibly exceeding 85mph in the most exposed locations.
A yellow rain warning is in place in Dover from tomorrow, with its coastal routes and seafronts likely to be affected by spray and large waves.
Pictured: Migrants arriving at Dover today. Today’s Channel crossings are expected to be the last for at least a week, as the Met Office issues several weather warnings ahead of the arrival of Storm Ciarán this week
Pictured: The migrants who arrived in the UK on the 26 October. At this stage last year, 38,101 people had reached the UK by small boat, with a staggering 6,900 of those arriving in October
Pictured: The migrants who arrived in the UK on the 26 October. The mostly male group were wrapped up in jumpers, hats and hooded coats after battling chilly weather conditions
The Met Office has also put an amber warning for very strong winds in place in the seaside town on Thursday (November 2) – advising that the storm could disrupt travel, utilities and cause some structural damage.
The national weather service has warned of flying debris which could pose a danger to life, damage to buildings and homes – such as roofs being blown off, power lines and trees brought down, and power cuts.
There is also potential for large waves and beach material being thrown onto seafronts, coastal roads and properties.
Pictured: The migrants who arrived in the UK on the 26 October. Dozens more migrants were intercepted while trying to cross the 21-mile Dover Strait
Pictured: A migrant who arrived on 26 October smiled and waved as he was taken to processing by officials
Speaking today, Met Office Chief Meteorologist Dan Suri, said: ‘Wind and rain warnings associated with Storm Ciarán are in force from Wednesday night onwards into Friday, with further updates possible on Wednesday.
‘These include amber warning for winds for southwestern parts of England and Wales Thursday early hours and morning and the far south and southeast of England Thursday daytime and early evening.
‘Storm Ciarán is expected to bring very strong along southern coastal areas of England in particular where gusts of 70 to 80mph are possible, gusts perhaps exceeding 85 mph in the most exposed locations. Further inland, gusts could reach up to 50 or 60mph.
‘As well as strong winds, this deep low pressure system will bring heavy rain to many parts of the UK.’
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘The unacceptable number of people risking their lives by making these dangerous crossings is placing an unprecedented strain on our asylum system.
‘Our priority is to stop the boats, and thanks to the work of the Small Boats Operational Command alongside our French partners, crossings are down by more than 20% compared to the same point last year.
‘The government is going even further through our Illegal Migration Act which will mean that people arriving in the UK illegally are detained and promptly removed to their country of origin or a safe third country.’
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