Haj 2024: Over 2,700 cases of heat exhaustion, sunstroke recorded in Saudi

Last year, more than 10,000 heat-related illnesses were documented


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Photo: AFP
Photo: AFP

Published: Mon 17 Jun 2024, 2:44 PM

Last updated: Mon 17 Jun 2024, 3:08 PM

As one of the world's largest annual religious gatherings wound down, the number of cases of heat exhaustion and sunstroke reached 2,764 cases in one day alone, according to authorities.

The Ministry advised organisers to guide pilgrims to adhere to the guidelines, so as to protect them from exposure to any heat stress.

Last year, more than 2,000 pilgrims suffered heat stress during the Haj pilgrimage after temperatures soared to 48℃ during the annual rites.

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Photo: Twitter/SPA Regions
Photo: Twitter/SPA Regions

The authorities highlighted that physical stress will lead to heat stress, and rest and spacing between performing rituals is important.

Earlier, it was reported that least 22 pilgrims had died, many of them from "extreme heat", highlighting the acute physical toll of the annual rites which in recent years have fallen during summer in Saudi.

Temperatures soared well above 40℃ each day and on Saturday hit 46℃ on Mount Arafat, where pilgrims performed hours of outdoor prayers.

Heat-related deaths

Jordan's foreign ministry said on Sunday that 14 Jordanian pilgrims had died "after suffering sun stroke due to the extreme heat wave", and that 17 others were "missing".

Iran reported the deaths of five pilgrims but did not specify the cause, while Senegal's foreign ministry said that three others had died.

During last year's Haj, at least 240 people died, according to figures announced by various countries which also did not specify causes of death.

More than 10,000 heat-related illnesses were recorded last year, 10 percent of them being heat stroke, a Saudi official told AFP.


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