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18 July, 2024
 
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Heat claims more than 550 lives, including 320 Egyptians

Saudi authorities report over 550 deaths amidst record heat in Mecca

Newsroom

At least 550 pilgrims died during this year's Hajj due to the extreme high temperatures.

Of the deceased, more than 320 were Egyptian, according to two Arab diplomats.

"All of them (Egyptians) died because of the heat, except for one who suffered fatal injuries during a crowding incident," one diplomat said.

The temperature reached 51.8 degrees Celsius at the Grand Mosque in Mecca on Monday, according to the Saudi National Meteorological Centre.

According to Saudi authorities, more than 2,000 pilgrims suffered heat stress and received first aid.

As reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Mina, outside Mecca, worshippers were trying to cool themselves by pouring water on their bodies, while volunteers were handing out cold drinks and ice creams.

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and all Muslims must perform it at least once in their lives.

The holy pilgrimage is increasingly affected by the climate crisis, according to a Saudi study published last month, which found that temperatures in the area of the pilgrimage are rising by 0.4°C every decade.

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Cyprus  |  heat  |  Mecca

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