98 Indians died during this year’s Haj pilgrimage: MEA | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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98 Indians died during this year’s Haj pilgrimage: MEA

Jun 21, 2024 08:35 PM IST

This year, a total of 175,000 Indian pilgrims visited Mecca for the Haj. The core period of the pilgrimage is from May 9 to July 22

New Delhi: A total of 98 Indian nationals have died while performing the Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia this year due to an intense heatwave, natural causes, chronic illness and old age, the external affairs ministry said on Friday.

More than 900 pilgrims from across the world died during this year’s Haj (AFP Photo)
More than 900 pilgrims from across the world died during this year’s Haj (AFP Photo)

More than 900 pilgrims from across the world died during this year’s Haj, which was marked by searing heat and intense high temperatures, and Indian authorities had earlier put the death toll among Indian pilgrims at 68.

“So far, there are 98 Indian pilgrims who have died [during the] Haj. These deaths have happened on account of natural causes, chronic illness and old age,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal told a regular media briefing.

Also Read: Two Haj pilgrims from Bengaluru die in Mecca

Six people died on the Day of Arafat when there was a heatwave, and four more deaths were caused by accidents, he said in response to questions.

This year, a total of 175,000 Indian pilgrims visited Mecca for the Haj. The core period of the pilgrimage is from May 9 to July 22. India’s Haj mission in Jeddah had made extensive arrangements to ensure the well-being of Indian pilgrims, and this included medical facilities, ambulances and a hospital, Jaiswal said.

Swift action was taken by officials deputed to the Haj mission whenever any incidents were reported. The officials were also in touch with the families of those who were affected, and all possible steps were taken to help those who were affected, he said.

Last year, the total number of Indian citizens who died during the Haj period was 187, Jaiswal said.

More than 600 Egyptians died during this year’s Haj, according to officials. Around 60 Jordanians also died, and deaths were confirmed by Indonesia, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia and Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

For the past few years, the Haj, whose dates are determined according to the lunar Islamic calendar, has fallen during the sweltering Saudi summer. According to a Saudi study published in May, temperatures in the area where rituals are performed are rising 0.4 degrees Celsius each decade.

Earlier this week, temperatures reached 47 degrees Celsius in Mecca and the sacred sites in and around the city, according to the Saudi National Center for Meteorology.

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