Home News Heat Wave Claims Lives Of 19 Hajj Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia

Heat Wave Claims Lives Of 19 Hajj Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Pilgrims
Pilgrims in Saudi Arabia [Credit: BBC]

An intense heat wave has tragically claimed the lives of at least 14 Jordanian and 5 Iranian pilgrims during the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. The Jordanian foreign ministry confirmed that these deaths were due to “sunstroke from the extreme heat wave.” Additionally, 17 Jordanians have been reported missing, with searches ongoing.

The Iranian Red Crescent also reported the deaths of five Iranian pilgrims, though the specific causes were not disclosed.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. This year’s Hajj, which has drawn over 1.8 million participants, has faced extreme temperatures exceeding 46°C (114.8°F). This has posed significant challenges for the pilgrims, particularly for aged individuals. Despite the Saudi authorities’ efforts to mitigate the heat with climate-controlled areas, water distribution, and advisories on staying hydrated and avoiding the sun during peak hours, the severe heat has proven deadly.

The head of the Saudi National Meteorology Centre, Ayman Ghulam, had earlier warned of an anticipated rise in average temperatures by 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius in Mecca and Medina during the Hajj period.

Hajj has a record of deadly incidents, including stampedes and fires, but heat remains a persistent danger. In 2023, at least 240 people died. The pilgrimage is set to conclude on Wednesday.

Read more: Landslide Triggered By Heavy Rains Kills Six in Ecuador

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