Hajj Deaths: 83% Deceased Pilgrims Were Unauthorized, Walked Long Distances Under Direct Sunlight, Says Report

(MENAFN- Live Mint) Saudi Arabia said that over 1,300 pilgrims lost their lives during the Hajj pilgrimage , which occurred amidst severe heat. It added that a majority of those who passed away were unauthorised to participate in the pilgrimage. According to the official Saudi Press Agency, the total number of deaths reached 1,301, with 83 percent of the deceased were unauthorized to participate in the Hajj, as reported by AFP.

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"Regrettably, the number of mortalities reached 1,301, with 83 percent being unauthorised to perform hajj and having walked long distances under direct sunlight, without adequate shelter or comfort," the official Saudi Press Agency reported as reported by AFP.

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1. As per the report, the dead came from more than 10 countries stretching from the United States to Indonesia, with some governments are continuing to update their totals.

2. Many unregistered pilgrims lacked access to amenities designed to enhance the pilgrimage experience, such as air-conditioned tents.

3. While speaking to AFP last week, Arab diplomats said that Egyptians accounted for 658 deaths of which 630 were unregistered pilgrims. The diplomats said the cause of death in most cases was heat-related.

4. Temperatures in Mecca this year climbed as high as 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 degrees Fahrenheit), according to Saudi Arabia's national meteorological centre.

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5. As per AFP report, Riyadh have not yet any public statements on its own casualty figures, However, on Friday, a senior Saudi official informed AFP that 577 deaths occurred during the two busiest days of the hajj: June 15, when pilgrims gathered for prayers under the hot sun on Mount Arafat, and June 16, when they participated in the ritual of "stoning the devil" in Mina.

6. According to SPA, which summarised an interview Saudi Health Minister Fahd Al-Jalajel gave to the state-affiliated Al-Ekhbariya channel, described this year's management of the hajj as“successful”. He stated that the health system delivered over 465,000 specialised treatment services, including 141,000 services to individuals who did not have official authorization to perform the hajj.

7. According to Saudi officials, 1.8 million pilgrims participated in the hajj this year, a number similar to last year, with 1.6 million coming from outside Saudi Arabia.

8. A study published in 2019 by the journal Geophysical Research Letters warned that due to climate change, heat stress during the hajj pilgrimage will surpass the "extreme danger threshold" between 2047 to 2052 and 2079 to 2086, with increasing frequency and intensity as the century progresses.

9. As per Gulf News report, Muslim pilgrims from across the world will experience the last summer Hajj next year "before a 17-year hiatus from the hotter months." This means that the Hajj season will enter a new phase of climate change during the year 2026. "We will not witness summer Hajj until after 17 years,” Hussein Al-Qahtani, spokesman of the Saudi National Meteorological Center (NMC), was quoted by Saudi Gazette as saying.

10. Another report cited Dr. Mansour Al Mazroui, a member of the Shoura Council and climate change researcher, as saying that the Hajj season will coincide with the summer season next year (2025). Then the Hajj season will move to the spring season for eight years, and after that it will move to the winter season.

(With all inputs from AFP)


Live Mint

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