ROME, April 30 (Xinhua) -- Around 70 migrants were reported as missing in the Mediterranean sea on Saturday by Italian rescuers, local media said.

The Italian coastal guard reportedly asked a merchant vessel to reach a migrant boat in trouble in Libyan waters after receiving a silent call from a satellite phone.

Rescuers managed to save 26 migrants but said there could be around 70 missing at sea, as that kind of boat generally carries not less than 100 migrants to Italy, Rai state television reported.

A total of 454 migrants have been saved from the sea in four operations coordinated by the Italian coastal guard in the past two days, raising the number of those rescued in the past week to around 2,000.

The dead bodies of two migrants were recovered during one of the operations, Rai added.

Italy is facing growing flows of migrants from African and Middle Eastern countries across the Mediterranean sea.

As of Thursday, some 27,267 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR. Most of them were from Nigeria, Gambia and Senegal.

There have been over 182,830 arrivals by sea in Europe since January 2016, and 1,261 migrants were reported dead or missing, UNHCR said.