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Over 550 Hajj pilgrims die in Mecca amid temperatures exceeding 50 degrees

In Mecca, during this year's Hajj pilgrimage, over 550 pilgrims tragically died due to extreme temperatures surpassing 50 degrees Celsius. The majority of the fatalities were attributed to heat-related illnesses.

Over 550 Hajj pilgrims die in Mecca amid temperatures exceeding 50 degrees anr
First Published Jun 19, 2024, 8:01 AM IST

According to diplomats, the hajj pilgrimage which took place once again in the sweltering heat, resulted in the deaths of at least 550 pilgrims, highlighting the arduous conditions of the journey. Two Arab diplomats coordinating their countries' responses said that at least 323 of the deceased were Egyptians, with most of them succumbing to heat-related illnesses, as reported to the media.

The diplomats also reported that at least 60 Jordanians died, an increase from the official tally of 41 provided earlier on Tuesday by Amman.

The diplomats stated that the total number of deceased at the Al-Muaisem morgue, one of the largest in Mecca, had reached 550.

According to a Saudi study published last month, climate change increasingly impacts the pilgrimage. The study indicated that temperatures in the areas where the rituals are performed are rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.72 degrees Fahrenheit) each decade.

The Saudi national meteorology center reported that temperatures at the Grand Mosque in Mecca reached 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) on Monday.
Saudi authorities reported treating over 2,000 pilgrims for heat stress but have not updated this figure since Sunday and have not provided information on fatalities.

Saudi officials had recommended that pilgrims use umbrellas, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and avoid sun exposure during the peak hours of heat each day. According to Saudi authorities, approximately 1.8 million pilgrims participated in the hajj this year, with 1.6 million of them coming from abroad.

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