July 14, 2024
Tragic Heatwave Claims Over 1,300 Lives at Hajj

Tragic Heatwave Claims Over 1,300 Lives at Hajj

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Tragic Heatwave Claims Over 1,300 Lives at Hajj

Saudi Arabia/Mecca : Saudi Arabia reported that over 1,300 people died during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, mainly due to heat stress and unauthorized trips. The extreme heat in Mecca, which reached 52 degrees Celsius (125 degrees Fahrenheit), played a significant role in these fatalities.

A large number of the deceased were pilgrims who did not have the proper authorization, leading to long walks under the scorching sun without adequate shelter or comfort. These unauthorized pilgrims, accounting for 83% of the deaths, missed out on organized amenities like air-conditioned transport and sufficient supplies of water and food.

The Saudi government explained that the delay in announcing the death toll was due to the complexity of identifying unauthorized pilgrims. They assured that all proper procedures for identification, burial, and issuing death certificates were followed.

Tragic Heatwave Claims Over 1,300 Lives at Hajj
Tragic Heatwave Claims Over 1,300 Lives at Hajj

Witnesses described distressing scenes of people collapsing and bodies covered in white cloth along the pilgrimage routes. Ahmed, a 44-year-old from Indonesia, shared his experience, noting the lack of health workers and ambulances.

In response, Egypt announced it would revoke the licenses of 16 Hajj tourism companies involved in facilitating unauthorized trips. The official death toll among Egyptians stands at 31, but some sources estimate it could be between 500 and 600.

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Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly expressed condolences and promised support to the affected families. This year’s Hajj faced additional challenges due to the extreme heat, which coincided with the timing of the pilgrimage as determined by the Islamic lunar calendar.


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