At least 19 pilgrims died due to extreme heat in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

At least 19 pilgrims died due to extreme heat in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

At least 19 people died while performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca amid the intense heat wave hitting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi authorities announced on Sunday that 14 Jordanian pilgrims and at least five Iranians died in Saudi Arabia during the annual Hajj season, which is held in extreme heat.

The annual Hajj rituals, one of the five pillars of Islam, began on Friday in Mecca, western Saudi Arabia, with the participation of more than 1.8 million pilgrims, most of them from abroad.

46 degrees Celsius was recorded on Saturday

This year, it is held in the middle of summer, in one of the hottest regions in the world, where the temperature reached 46 degrees on Saturday. The Saudi authorities did not announce the number of cases of high temperature observed among pilgrims, but last year more than 10,000 cases were recorded, including 10% of heatstroke, which is the most serious case.

The Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, on Sunday, in a statement published by the official Petra News Agency, that “14 Jordanian pilgrims died and 17 others disappeared while performing Hajj rituals.” He added that the 14 pilgrims died “after suffering from sunstroke.”

The basic Hajj for Muslims

He stressed that the Ministry is following up with the relevant Saudi authorities on the procedures for burying pilgrims and transporting the bodies of those whose families wish to transport their bodies to the Kingdom, explaining that the search is continuing to find the bodies. 17 pilgrims are missing

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For his part, the head of the Iranian Red Crescent, Berhossein Koulivand, indicated that “five Iranian pilgrims lost their lives (…) in Mecca and Medina during this year’s Hajj season,” without immediately specifying the circumstances surrounding their deaths.

All Muslims are expected to perform the Hajj to Mecca at least once in their lives if they can afford it. It consists of a series of rituals performed over a period of four days.

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