More than half a million migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year -- 383,000 of them arriving in Greece, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

At the same time, some 2,980 people have perished or disappeared trying to make the perilous journey, the UN's refugee agency (UNHCR) said.

The agency put the number of migrant arrivals by sea at nearly 515,000 since January 1, noting that 54 percent of that group were Syrian.

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