Hajj death toll passes 900 after temperatures soared


Hajj death toll passes 900 after temperatures soared

Friends and family searched for missing hajj pilgrims on Wednesday,  June 19, as the death toll surged past 900.


Relatives who couldn’t reach their loved ones scoured hospitals and pleaded online for news after temperatures hit 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) in Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, on Monday, June 17.


About 1.8 million people from all over the world, many old and infirm, took part in the days-long, mostly outdoor pilgrimage, which this year fell during the hot Saudi summer.


An Arab diplomat told AFP that deaths among Egyptians alone had jumped to “at least 600”, from more than 300 a day earlier, mostly from the unforgiving heat.


That figure brought the total reported dead so far to 922, according to an AFP tally of figures released by various countries.


The diplomat later added that Egyptian officials in Saudi Arabia had received “1,400 reports of missing pilgrims”, including the 600 dead.


Mabrouka bint Salem Shushana of Tunisia, in her early 70s,…

Source: Linda Ikeji