Heatwave in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj pilgrimage in 2024 kills over 550 people.

More than 550 pilgrims died during the Hajj due to soaring temperatures in Mecca. At least 323 of those who died were Egyptians. According to a report by media agency AFP, most of the pilgrims died due to heat-related illnesses. Meanwhile, at least 60 Jordanians also died due to the scorching heat. The total number of deaths so far has been reported to be 577.

On Monday, Saudi authorities issued a warning to pilgrims to avoid the sun and urged them to postpone rituals until after 4 pm (local time).

Islam’s holiest city recorded a temperature of 51.8 degrees Celsius on Monday, while other nearby holy sites recorded a maximum temperature of 48 degrees Celsius.

This year around 18 lakh pilgrims took part in Hajj. This is one of the 5 most sacred pillars in Islam. Hajj started on Friday.

Many devotees use buses and trains to reach the holy sites, but heavy crowds and intense heat still pose challenges for pilgrims and law enforcement officials.

In recent decades, crowding has caused several major tragedies, with hundreds of deaths.

The Saudi National Meteorology Center said the temperature at Mecca’s Grand Mosque reached 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) on Monday.

60 Jordanians dead

Diplomats said at least 60 Jordanians were also kill. On Tuesday Amman officially reported 41 dead.

Climate change is having an impact on the hajj pilgrimage, with temperatures in the region where the religious ritual is perform rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.72 degrees Fahrenheit) every decade, according to a Saudi study published last month.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement

On Tuesday, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said Cairo was working closely with Saudi authorities to search for Egyptians missing during the Hajj. While the ministry statement said there had been a certain number of deaths, it did not clarify whether those included Egyptians. Saudi authorities reported treating more than 2,000 pilgrims suffering from heat exhaustion, but have not updated that figure since Sunday and have not provided details on the deaths.

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