41 Jordanians die during Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia amid soaring heat

Cairo, June 18 (IANS/DPA): At least 41 Jordanians have died due to heatstroke during the Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, Jordan officials said on Tuesday, as temperatures soared in recent days.

The authorities are following the procedures for burying the Jordanian pilgrims in Mecca who died due to heatstroke. Search operations are continuing for the missing pilgrims.

On Monday, Saudi authorities issued warnings to pilgrims to avoid the sun and urged them to postpone the rituals till after 4 p.m. (local time).

Islam's holiest city recorded 51.8-degree Celsius on Monday, while other nearby holy sites recorded 48-degree Celsius maximum temperature.

Some 1.8 million pilgrims took part in this year's Haj, one of the five pillars of Islam, which began in Mecca on Friday evening amid the blistering heat.

Buses and trains are used to help transport the many worshippers to the holy sites, but the large crowds and intense heat still pose a challenge for the pilgrims and law enforcement officers.

In recent decades, there have also been several major tragedies with hundreds of deaths due to crowding.



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Title: 41 Jordanians die during Haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia amid soaring heat

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