Hajj Pilgrims Goes Missing, Death Count Reaches Over 900 Amid Extensive Heat

Family members and friends looked for missing hajj pilgrims as the number of fatalities from the yearly rites—which were performed in intense heat—rose above 900.

Family members and friends looked for missing hajj pilgrims as the number of fatalities from the yearly rites—which were performed in intense heat—rose above 900. Fearing the worst, relatives combed hospitals and begged for updates online as temperatures in Mecca, the holiest city in Islam, reached 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday.

About 1.8 million people took part in the pilgrimage this year in chilling summer. An Arab official told the media that the deaths of Egyptians had alone surged to at least 600 due to heat. However, Mabrouka bint Salem Shushana of Tunisia (nearly 70) has gone missing notified her husband. He said that she was unregistered and did not have an official hajj permit. “She’s an old lady. She was tired. She was feeling so hot, and she had no place to sleep,” her husband said. “I looked for her in all the hospitals. Until now I don’t have a clue.”

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What is Hajj ?

Hajj is one of the  five pillars of Islam and it is believed that all Muslims must complete it atleast once. The timings of the visit is determined by the Islamic luar calender. However the travel became a challenge due to intense heat.

Apart from Egypt, other countries that have recorded fatalities include Jordan, Indonesia, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia, and the autonomous Kurdistan area of Iraq; however, in numerous cases, the cause of death has not been disclosed by the authorities.

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