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Hundreds Feared Dead in Hajj Pilgrimage Due to Extreme Heat in Saudi Arabia

The 2024 Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia has seen a tragic loss of life, primarily due to extreme heat, with temperatures exceeding 51 degrees Celsius. Reports indicate significant fatalities among pilgrims, including 658 Egyptians, over 200 Indonesians, and 98 Indians confirmed dead. Other countries, including Pakistan, Malaysia, Jordan, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia, Sudan, and Iraq’s Kurdistan region, have also reported deaths. The heatwave, aggravated by global warming, posed severe risks despite efforts by Saudi health authorities to provide cooling facilities and hydration warnings.

Mismanagement and overcrowding in pilgrimage areas further exacerbated conditions, with inadequate accommodation and sanitation facilities reported. Despite Saudi efforts to enhance safety measures, criticisms persist over the handling of unregistered pilgrims who lacked access to essential amenities. Transportation challenges and the persistence of undocumented pilgrims also contributed to the crisis.

Efforts are ongoing to locate missing individuals, with families and authorities engaged in hospital searches and online appeals. The Hajj, a sacred duty for Muslims, draws millions annually to Mecca, necessitating stringent measures to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants.

Irish Samachar English News

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