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Tragic Heatwave Claims Lives Of Hajj Pilgrims In Mecca

Tragic Heatwave Claims Lives Of Hajj Pilgrims In Mecca

In a heart-wrenching turn of events, the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, has been marred by a relentless heatwave, claiming the lives of at least 922 devoted pilgrims.

The scorching temperatures, surpassing 50 degrees Celsius, have cast a somber shadow over the holiest city in Islam. As the faithful flock to Mecca, the mercury continues to rise, exacerbating the already unbearable conditions.

Tragically, among the deceased, “at least 600” pilgrims are from Egypt alone, according to an Arab diplomat cited by AFP. Reports indicate that a significant number of these pilgrims were unregistered and lacked a valid hajj permit, leaving them without access to the lifesaving air-conditioned facilities.

The absence of registration proved to be a fatal hindrance, as the unregistered Egyptian pilgrims accounted for a substantial portion of the 600 lives lost.

Global Community Mourns

The devastating toll of the heatwave extends beyond Egypt, with at least 68 Indians perishing in the merciless conditions. These casualties have been confirmed by Jordan, Indonesia, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia, and Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

While some deaths can be attributed to natural causes and the vulnerability of elderly pilgrims, there is a growing belief that the extreme weather played a significant role in these fatalities. The loss of lives from various nationalities has united the global community in mourning, highlighting the universal impact of this tragedy.

Saudi authorities face criticism for alleged lack of support

As the world grapples with the magnitude of this heartbreaking loss, questions arise regarding the role of Saudi authorities in providing necessary support and shelter to the pilgrims.

In 2016, the Saudi government implemented measures to aid pilgrims in withstanding the heat, including shaded areas, drinking water points every 500 meters, and improved healthcare capacity. However, reports have surfaced suggesting that some pilgrims were denied rest during the rituals, with one account recounting the lack of government efforts to provide shelter or water.

The alleged shortcomings of the Saudi authorities have sparked criticism and raised concerns about the overall welfare and support provided to the pilgrims during their sacred journey.

As the global community mourns the lives lost in this tragic heatwave, it is imperative to reflect on the safety measures and support systems in place for future Hajj pilgrimages. Enhancing the well-being of the faithful should remain a top priority, ensuring that the spiritual journey to Mecca can be undertaken without fear of succumbing to extreme weather conditions.

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