Fourteen Jordanians die during Hajj in Saudi Arabia, some due to heat

Fourteen Jordanians have tragically lost their lives during the annual Muslim Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, with some succumbing to heat stroke, Jordan’s foreign ministry announced on Sunday. Additionally, 17 others are reported missing.

The ministry clarified that at least six of the fatalities were attributed to heat-related causes, as temperatures soared to 47 degrees Celsius (116 Fahrenheit) in Mecca. However, it did not specify whether the remaining deaths were also heat-related.

The Haj, a massive gathering expected to involve over 1.8 million pilgrims this year, will conclude on Wednesday, according to the Saudi General Authority for Statistics. Over the past 30 years, incidents such as stampedes, tent fires, and extreme weather have resulted in numerous deaths during the event.

In response to the high temperatures, the Saudi health ministry issued guidelines advising pilgrims to stay hydrated and avoid outdoor activities during the hottest hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (0800 to 1200 GMT).

Jordan’s foreign ministry noted it was working closely with Saudi authorities to facilitate the burial or transportation of the deceased in accordance with their families’ wishes.

In a tragic incident in 2015, a stampede near Mecca during the Haj claimed the lives of at least 2,070 people, according to a Reuters tally at the time.

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