More than 239 migrants are believed drowned in two shipwrecks off the coast of Libya, migration officials say.
The UNHCR refugee agency was told the news by two survivors brought ashore on the Italian island of Lampedusa, spokeswoman Carlotta Sami said.
No bodies have so far been recovered.
More than 4,200 migrants have died making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea this year, International Organization of Migration spokesman Leonard Doyle says.
The UN has warned 2016 could be the deadliest for migrants making the journey.
Nearly 330,000 migrants have crossed the sea so far this year, compared with more than one million in 2015.