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Hajj Deaths: Extreme Heat Killed More Than 1,300 In Saudi Arabia


Over 1,300 people have died amid extreme heat in Saudi Arabia while making the Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca this month, raising questions about the country’s preparations.

Officials said that most of the dead had not been registered for the hajj. Pilgrims with permits are transported in air-conditioned buses and can rest in cooling tents, while those without permits are left with little protection against temperatures that can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Saudi government has tried to rein in the effects of the heat by increasing shade and misting pilgrims with cool water. But many relatives of the dead and missing complained that the authorities had not done enough to cool all the pilgrims. It’s unclear if the number of deaths this year is higher than in previous years because Saudi Arabia doesn’t regularly release those statistics.

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