Extreme Heat During Hajj: 14 Dead in Mecca

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.17 - 2024 2:06 PM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius.

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The extreme heat during this year's Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia has claimed the lives of at least 14 people.

With temperatures in the Mecca region rising above 40 degrees Celsius (or 104 degrees Fahrenheit), the pilgrimage has become a risky journey for many.

Dangerous Conditions

Authorities have urged pilgrims to take precautions against the severe heat by using umbrellas, avoiding outdoor activities during midday, and staying hydrated.

On Saturday, temperatures reached up to 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 degrees Fahrenheit) when pilgrims gathered at Mount Arafat, according to Der Spiegel.

One medical center reported treating 255 individuals for heat-related issues, though the actual number is likely higher.

Last year, approximately 10,000 pilgrims required medical attention, with around ten percent suffering from heat stroke.

The Hajj pilgrimage, a core pillar of Islam, brings millions of believers to Saudi Arabia each year. Despite modern conveniences like buses and trains, managing the large crowds and extreme heat remains a challenge for both pilgrims and authorities.