Over 600 Hajj pilgrims, including 68 Indians, die in Mecca as temperatures rise above 50 degrees

68 Indian people lost their lives during this year's extremely hot Hajj trip, according to a diplomat in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. This brings the total number of deaths to over 600. The diplomat also added that many elderly pilgrims had joined in the performance of Hajj this year and several people died of natural causes as well. The diplomat who verified the deaths of Indians reported that several pilgrims from India remain unaccounted for, though he did not disclose the precise figure. The hajj has fallen amid the scorching Saudi summer for the past few years now. 
The Hajj pilgrimage 2024

On Tuesday, press sources and foreign ministries suggested that at least 550 pilgrims died during the yearly Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in this year's intense heat. These numbers were provided by diplomats to the French news agency Agence France Presse (AFP) on Tuesday. According to AFP, which cited two Arab diplomats, 323 Egyptians have died, the majority of them from illnesses brought on by the heat. Apart from the Egyptian victims, the pilgrimage has witnessed the death of at least 60 Jordanians, and the largest morgue in Mecca, Al-Muaisem, has recorded 550 deaths overall.

Climate change is having an increasing effect on the Hajj. Temperatures in the ritual locations are rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.72 degrees Fahrenheit) every ten years, according to a recent Saudi study. The Saudi National Meteorological Department reports that the Grand Mosque in Mecca experienced a scorching 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) on Monday.

Hajj pilgrims suffering in Mecca's scorching heat

During the pilgrimage, 35 Tunisian citizens also perished, 11 Iranians lost their lives and 24 were hospitalized. 240 pilgrims, primarily from Indonesia, died on the Hajj last year.

Saudi authorities had advised pilgrims to stay hydrated and stay indoors during the warmest hours, which are between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and pilgrims also used umbrellas to shield themselves from the sun.
Pilgrims at the Hajj in Mecca

Approximately 1.8 million people performed the Hajj this year, of which 1.6 million came from abroad. The Hajj started on Friday (June 14) and concluded on June 19.

Also readHajj Pilgrimage 2024 Begins Amid Conflict In The Middle East

Inputs: Agencies

Image Source: Multiple agencies

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