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Dozens Die as Intense Heat Grips Mecca During Hajj Pilgrimage

WorldDozens Die as Intense Heat Grips Mecca During Hajj Pilgrimage

Dozens of people have died amid scorching temperatures during the annual hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, according to reports from official media in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

With forecasts saying that temperatures would top 113 degrees Fahrenheit, or 45 degrees Celsius, on Tuesday, Saudi officials issued advisories to pilgrims urging them to stay hydrated, minimize outdoor activities, and carry umbrellas to block direct sunlight.

While Saudi Arabia had not reported deaths, news reports from a number of countries whose faithful went to the hajj suggested that the heat had proved deadly.

On Sunday, Jordan’s official news agency said 14 pilgrims had died from exposure to extreme sun and heat. On Wednesday, the agency said burial permits had been issued for 41 Jordanian pilgrims in Mecca, but did not provide details on the causes of death.

Tunisia’s Foreign Ministry said at least 35 Tunisians had died, the state-run Agence Tunis Afrique Presse reported on Tuesday, noting the “sharp rise in temperatures” and “scorching sun” that had accompanied the hajj.

At least 13 people from India’s Kerala State died performing hajj, according to Sathyapalan C., a local official, while the Russian state news agency TASS reported the deaths of four citizens from “natural causes related to health and age.” Three pilgrims from Senegal also died, according to a statement from the country’s Foreign Ministry, without citing a cause of death.

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