Death Toll Tops 1,000 After Haj Marked By Extreme Heat

Death Toll Tops 1,000 After Haj Marked By Extreme Heat

Riyadh: On Thursday, it was reported that the number of fatalities resulting from this year's Haj has surpassed 1,000. More than half of these casualties were individuals who had not registered as worshippers and endured the pilgrimage in extreme heat in Saudi Arabia.

The latest update on the deaths revealed that 58 of them were from Egypt. A diplomat shared a detailed breakdown, indicating that out of the 658 Egyptians who lost their lives, 630 were unregistered pilgrims.

In total, approximately ten nations have documented a total of 1,081 fatalities during the yearly pilgrimage, an essential obligation in Islam known as the Hajj, which all financially capable Muslims must undertake at least once.

These statistics have been obtained either through official declarations or from diplomats involved in their respective countries' reactions.

Due to the lunar Islamic calendar, the Hajj coincided with the scorching Saudi summer once again this year.

On Thursday, an Arab diplomat stated that individuals were fatigued after being pursued by security forces prior to Arafat day. They were completely drained. The diplomat was referring to the day-long outdoor prayers on Saturday, which marked the pinnacle of the Hajj pilgrimage. The diplomat also mentioned that the primary cause of death among Egyptian pilgrims was the intense heat, leading to complications associated with high blood pressure and other health issues.

Furthermore, Pakistan and Indonesia confirmed new fatalities on Thursday, in addition to Egypt. According to a diplomat who was briefed on the statistics, out of approximately 150,000 pilgrims, Pakistan has reported 58 deaths thus far. The diplomat expressed that considering the number of people and the weather conditions, these fatalities are to be expected.

According to the ministry of religious affairs, Indonesia has reported a death toll of 183 out of the approximately 240,000 pilgrims it had. This is lower compared to the 313 deaths recorded last year. Other countries such as Malaysia, India, Jordan, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia, Sudan, and Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region have also confirmed deaths, although the specific causes have not been specified by authorities in many cases.

Meanwhile, friends and family members continue to search for missing pilgrims. In their search, they have been visiting hospitals and seeking information online, fearing the worst due to the extreme temperatures. Diplomats have revealed that Saudi authorities have already started the burial process for the deceased pilgrims. This process involves cleaning the bodies, wrapping them in white burial cloth, and burying them in individual graves.


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