Death Toll Touches 1,000 During Hajj In Heatwave, Including 68 Indians: Report

A Saudi study published last month indicated that temperatures in areas where hajj rituals are performed are rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.72 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade, underscoring the impact of climate change on the pilgrimage.
hajj

Representative Image

Photo : AP
New Delhi: The death toll from this year's hajj exceeds 1,000, an AFP tally said on Thursday, with unregistered pilgrims making up more than half of those who perished amid intense heat.
The new deaths reported Thursday included 58 from Egypt, according to an Arab diplomat who provided a breakdown showing that of 658 total dead from that country, 630 were unregistered.
A Saudi study published last month indicated that temperatures in areas where hajj rituals are performed are rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.72 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade, underscoring the impact of climate change on the pilgrimage.
Temperatures soared to 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) at Mecca's Grand Mosque on Monday, according to Saudi Arabia's national meteorology center.
Egypt's Foreign Ministry confirmed cooperation with Saudi authorities in search operations for missing Egyptians during the hajj, acknowledging "a certain number of deaths" without specifying Egyptian casualties.
Saudi authorities reported treating over 2,000 pilgrims for heat-related stress, though updates on fatalities have not been provided since Sunday.
Last year, various countries reported at least 240 deaths among pilgrims, with Indonesians comprising the majority.
AFP journalists in Mina observed pilgrims pouring water over themselves while volunteers distributed cold drinks and ice cream amidst the heat.
Saudi officials advised pilgrims to use umbrellas, stay hydrated, and avoid sun exposure during peak heat hours, despite many rituals requiring prolonged outdoor stays.
Unregistered pilgrims attempting the hajj through unofficial channels face heightened risks, lacking access to Saudi-provided air-conditioned facilities along the route.
An Egyptian diplomat noted that unregistered pilgrims contributed significantly to Egypt's death toll, describing chaotic conditions in camps due to service collapses.
Earlier this month, Saudi officials announced the removal of hundreds of thousands of unregistered pilgrims from Mecca ahead of the hajj.
Other nations reporting deaths this year include Indonesia, Iran, and Senegal, with most not specifying heat-related fatalities.
Saudi Health Minister Fahd bin Abdul Rahman Al-Jalajel reported successful health measures during the hajj, including virtual consultations for over 5,800 pilgrims primarily for heat-related illnesses, as per the Saudi Press Agency.
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