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At least 550 Hajj pilgrims die in scorching heat

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Mecca: The Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia has witnessed at least 550 deaths due to scorching heat in the desert region.

Two Arab diplomats confirmed that at least 323 Egyptians died in the heatwave, primarily due to heat-related illnesses.

‘All Egyptians died due to heat, with one person suffering fatal injuries during a crowd crush,’ according to a diplomat, citing the total death toll from the Al-Muaisem hospital morgue.

Diplomats reported that at least 60 Jordanians died, up from the official tally of 41, as reported by Amman.

As per a few media reports, fresh casualties of heat has extended the toll to 577 with victims from multiple countries.

The diplomats said the total at the morgue in Al-Muaisem, one of the biggest in Mecca, was 550.

The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all Muslims with the means must complete it at least once.

A Saudi study indicates that the pilgrimage industry is being significantly impacted by climate change, with temperatures rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius annually.

The Saudi National Meteorology Centre reported that temperatures reached 51.8 °C at the Grand Mosque in Mecca on Monday.

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