Pilgrimage in scorching sun: 41 killed in Mecca

Mecca’s Grand Mosque recorded a high of 51.8 degrees Celsius, with similarly high temperatures at other holy sites.

Death toll from heatstroke rises to 41 during Muslim Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jordan announced this on Tuesday. The ministry allowed relatives to be buried in Makkah in cases where they did not wish to be transported to Jordan. Jordanian pilgrims suffer from heatstroke. Earlier, the ministry confirmed that 17 people had died due to the heat.

The pilgrimage began in Mecca on Friday evening in scorching heat. According to the Saudi Meteorological Center, the Grand Mosque recorded a high of 51.8 degrees Celsius on Monday afternoon, while other holy places in the region also recorded high temperatures. Officials urged worshipers to wear parasols, avoid going outside, especially during hot lunch hours, and drink enough water. News channel Sky News showed a pilgrim bathing in a fridge of drinks.

Millions of pilgrims

Last year, about two million pilgrims performed the Hajj in Saudi Arabia, one of the five fundamental duties of Islam. Buses and trains already help bring many worshipers to the holy sites, but overcrowding and sweltering heat still pose challenges for pilgrims and law enforcement officials. Several major tragedies have also occurred in recent decades, each resulting in hundreds of deaths from overcrowding. (APA/dpa)

Pilgrims at the Kaaba in the courtyard of the Holy Mosque in Mecca. APA / AFP / Fadel Senna

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