Hajj 2024: Over 500 Pilgrims Die Over Extreme Heat in Saudi Arabia, Report Says

Hajj 2024: Over 500 Pilgrims Die Over Extreme Heat in Saudi Arabia, Report Says

  • Over 500 pilgrims have died during the 2024 hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, with temperatures soaring as high as 51.8 degrees Celsius
  • The pilgrimage, which began on June 14, has seen a range of tragic incidents such as stampedes and tent fires
  • Additional fatalities include 35 Tunisians, 41 Jordanians, 11 Iranians, 3 Senegalese, and 144 Indonesians

Makkah, Saudi Arabia - Over 500 pilgrims have lost their lives during the 2024 hajj pilgrimage to Mecca amidst scorching temperatures, as reported by various press outlets and foreign ministries.

According to diplomats speaking to French news agency Agence France Presse (AFP) on Tuesday, at least 550 people have died during the hajj.

Tragedy in Mecca
Tragedy in Mecca Photo credit: Jasmin Merdan
Source: Getty Images

The majority of the fatalities, numbering 323, were Egyptians who succumbed to heat-related illnesses, as confirmed by two Arab diplomats cited by AFP.

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Tragic incidents such as stampedes, tent fires, and other accidents have claimed the lives of hundreds of pilgrims during hajj journeys to Saudi Arabia over the past three decades, as reported by Reuters

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This year's pilgrimage commenced on Friday, June 14.

Saudi state television disclosed that temperatures soared as high as 51.8 degrees Celsius (125.2 Fahrenheit) in the shade at the Grand Mosque in Mecca on Monday, June 17, Voice of America reported.

A 2024 study published in the Journal of Travel Medicine warned that rising global temperatures might surpass current strategies to combat heat-related risks.

Similarly, a 2019 study from Geophysical Research Letters highlighted that increasing temperatures due to climate change pose extreme dangers to pilgrims in arid regions like Saudi Arabia.

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Hajj 2024: Tragedy as 19 pilgrims confirmed dead, 17 missing in Saudi Arabia

According to Tunisian news agency Tunis Afrique Presse, 35 Tunisian citizens have lost their lives during this year's hajj, primarily due to severe heat, as confirmed by family members through social media.

Meanwhile, other Tunisian families are still searching for missing relatives in Saudi hospitals.

The Jordanian foreign ministry reported issuing 41 burial permits for Jordanian pilgrims on Tuesday, with at least six deaths attributed to heatstroke during the pilgrimage.

In Iran, eleven pilgrims have died and 24 were hospitalized during hajj, according to Iranian state news outlet IRINN, although the specific causes of death were not disclosed.

Three Senegalese citizens also lost their lives during hajj, as reported by Agence de Presse Sénégalaise on Monday.

Data from the Indonesian health ministry revealed that 144 Indonesian citizens passed away during the pilgrimage, although the data did not specify whether any deaths were due to heatstroke.

Hajj 2024: Tragedy as 19 pilgrims confirmed dead, other fatalities

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Further report states that Authorities from Jordan and Iran reported on Sunday, June 16, that at least 19 pilgrims from their countries died during the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia amid soaring temperatures in the region.

Jordan's foreign ministry announced that 14 Jordanian pilgrims died and 17 others went missing while performing Hajj rituals.

The ministry later confirmed that the 14 pilgrims succumbed to “sunstroke due to the extreme heat wave.”

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Ezra Ukanwa (Editor) Ezra Ukanwa is a first-class graduate of Anchor University, Lagos. He holds a master's degree in mass communication. Ezra currently serves as the Current Affairs and Politics Editor for Legit.ng, where he covers events and provides insightful analysis and reportage on national issues. He was named best Campus Journalist (Anchor University Communications Award, 2019). Kindly contact him at: ezra.ukanwa@corp.legit.ng or +2349036989944