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About 550 Muslims Die At 2024 Hajj

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It has been reported that about 550 pilgrims died during the 2024 Hajj in the holy city of Mecca in the scorching heat.

According to reports, temperatures reached about 51.8C (125F) in the shade in the Saudi Arabian city, as huge crowds of Muslims undertook the annual religious journey.

During performance of one of the five pillars of Islam, pilgrims used umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun, as Saudi authorities warned pilgrims to stay hydrated and avoid being outdoors during the hottest hours between 1:00am and 3:00pm.

However, stampedes, tent fires and other accidents reportedly caused hundreds of deaths during the Hajj in the past 30 years while about 240 people reportedly died last year.

In the 2024 hajj, which pmbegan on Friday and as usual coincided with the religious holiday, Eid al-Adha. Dozens of deaths have been reported during this year’s Hajj, with the AFP news agency putting the total at 550, citing diplomats.

Statistically, 323 of the dead were Egyptians, most of whom perished due to heat related illness, AFP said.

A 2024 study by the Journal of Travel and Medicine found that rising global temperatures may outpace strategies to deal with the heat. A 2019 study by Geophysical Research Letters said that as temperatures rise in arid Saudi Arabia due to climate change, pilgrims performing Hajj will face “extreme danger”.

A Saudi health official, speaking on Monday before many of the reports of deaths were issued, said authorities had not noticed any unusual fatalities among Muslim pilgrims amid the extremely high temperatures.

The ministry had so far treated more than 2,700 pilgrims who suffered from heat-related illness, he added.


“Hajj is a difficult task, so you have to exert efforts and perform the rituals even in the conditions of heat and crowding,” an Egyptian pilgrim said.

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