at least 323 pilgrims died during hajj due to heat

at least 323 pilgrims died during hajj due to heat

At least 323 Egyptian pilgrims died during the hajj, the great Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, in Saudi Arabia, almost all of whom died from heat-related illnesses, two Arab diplomats announced to AFP on Tuesday June 18 .

“All died because of the heat”except for one pilgrim who died after being injured during a crowd movement, one of the diplomats said, adding that the total figure came from the morgue of a hospital in the Al-Qaeda district. Muaisem of Mecca.

At least 60 Jordanians also died, according to these diplomats, more than the official death toll of 41 announced earlier by Amman. These deaths bring to 577 the number of deaths during the pilgrimage announced by the different countries, according to a report established by AFP. The diplomats added that 550 bodies had been transported to the Al-Muaisem morgue, one of the largest in Mecca.

A pilgrimage that suffers the effects of climate change

The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and Muslims who can afford it must perform it at least once in their lives. This annual rite, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, took place again this year in summer, a particularly hot season in Saudi Arabia.

The pilgrimage is increasingly being impacted by climate change, a Saudi study published in May warned that temperatures at sites where rituals take place are rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius every ten years.

This year, the hajj attracted around 1.8 million pilgrims, including 1.6 million from abroad, according to Saudi authorities. Every year, tens of thousands of pilgrims attempt to participate in the hajj without having paid for official visas, which denies them access to the air-conditioned facilities set up by the Saudi authorities.

According to one of the diplomats interviewed by AFP, the Egyptian death toll was considerably increased by the presence of pilgrims who did not have authorization. Other countries reporting deaths this year include Tunisia, Indonesia, Iran and Senegal.

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