Heat Waves Claim Lives Of Hajj Pilgrims

Heat Waves Claim Lives Of Hajj Pilgrims
Heat Waves Claim Lives Of Hajj Pilgrims

In a sorrowful turn of events during the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, at least 19 pilgrims from Jordan and Iran have succumbed to the harsh conditions. The foreign ministry of Jordan reported the demise of 14 Jordanian pilgrims, alongside 17 others who are still unaccounted for amidst the sacred Hajj rituals. The cause of death for the Jordanians was attributed to sunstroke, a result of the severe heat wave sweeping through the region, as per AFP.

Furthermore, the Iranian Red Crescent has confirmed the loss of five Iranian pilgrims, though the specific reasons for their deaths were not detailed, tallying the fatalities to 19.

Additionally, the pilgrimage has witnessed the passing of two Nigerian pilgrims from Kwara State, Salman Alade and Ayishat Ologele, in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Their deaths raise the total number of deceased Kwara pilgrims to four, following the earlier reported passings of Saliu Mohammed and Hawawu Mohammed in Madinah.

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The distressing trend of heat-induced health issues during the Hajj was highlighted last year with over 10,000 cases of heat-related illnesses reported, and heat stroke constituting 10% of these conditions. With regional temperatures rising by 0.4°C per decade, concerns grow over the ability to effectively counter the intensifying heat, as noted by a Saudi study.

The events of this year add to the history of challenges faced during the Hajj, recalling the previous year when at least 240 pilgrims, predominantly from Indonesia, lost their lives under unspecified circumstances.

As the international community mourns the lost lives, there is an increasing emphasis on the need for enhanced measures to protect pilgrims against the formidable conditions of extreme heat.

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