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Arab diplomats claim that at least 550 haj pilgrims perished

Image Source: Business Today

The article reports on the tragic events during this year’s haj pilgrimage in Mecca, where at least 550 pilgrims died, primarily due to extreme heat. Many of the deceased were Egyptians, suffering from heat-related illnesses exacerbated by temperatures reaching 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit). Additionally, irregular pilgrims, who couldn’t afford official haj visas and facilities, faced severe conditions without basic necessities like food, water, or shelter, contributing to the death toll.

The haj pilgrimage, a fundamental practice in Islam, is becoming more challenging due to rising temperatures linked to climate change. Saudi authorities had issued warnings and advice to pilgrims on coping with the heat, including using umbrellas and staying hydrated, but the outdoor rituals and large crowds posed significant health risks. Despite efforts by health officials to manage the situation and provide assistance, including virtual consultations, the scale of the pilgrimage and environmental conditions presented formidable challenges this year.

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