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Tragic Hajj 2024: 577 pilgrims who reached mecca for hajj died due to heatwave

Tragic Hajj 2024: 577 pilgrims who reached mecca for hajj died due to heatwave

The 2024 Hajj pilgrimage, which commenced on June 14, has turned into a tragic event due to the severe heatwave sweeping across Saudi Arabia. This year’s Hajj, set to conclude today, June 19, in conjunction with the celebration of Eid-ul-Adha or Bakrid, has seen unprecedented fatalities among the pilgrims due to the blistering temperatures.

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Saudi Arabia has experienced a devastating heatwave, with temperatures soaring to an unbearable 52 degrees Celsius. The intense heat has tragically claimed the lives of approximately 577 pilgrims in Mecca, transforming this holy city into a scene of despair. The extreme conditions have overwhelmed the largest morgue in the region, Al Muwaisim, with a large number of bodies, creating a significant public health concern due to the spread of odors and the lack of space.

Tragic Hajj 2024: 577 pilgrims who reached mecca for hajj died due to heatwave

Tragic Hajj 2024: 577 pilgrims who reached mecca for hajj died due to heatwave

According to the AFP news agency, the majority of the deceased, about 330, were from Egypt, having succumbed to the severe heat. Additionally, a crushing incident resulted in the death of another Egyptian pilgrim. The heatwave also caused the deaths of 60 Jordanian nationals.

The dire situation has put immense pressure on the local authorities, who are working tirelessly to manage the crisis. The rapid rise in deaths has left thousands more pilgrims ill, with at least 300 currently battling for their lives. The fear that the death toll might surpass 1,000 looms large as the heatwave shows no sign of abating.

It is worth noting that Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey. The pilgrimage, which takes place between the 8th and 12th days of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, is intended as an act of worship and repentance, symbolizing unity and submission to Allah.

Despite the challenges, the essence of Hajj remains a profound spiritual journey aimed at seeking forgiveness and divine blessings. However, this year’s pilgrimage will be remembered for the severe trials faced by the pilgrims due to the harsh climatic conditions, underscoring the need for enhanced safety measures and support systems for future Hajj pilgrimages.

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