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  4. At least 98 Indian pilgrims die of heatstroke during hajj, MEA clarifies amid conflicting reports

At least 98 Indian pilgrims die of heatstroke during hajj, MEA clarifies amid conflicting reports

Jaiswal said at least six people died on Arafah Day, four were killed in separate accidents. He said the death toll in 2023 was much higher. According to Jaiswal, at least 187 Indians were killed during hajj last year.

Written By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 New Delhi Updated on: June 21, 2024 17:54 IST
MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal
Image Source : INDIA TV MEA Spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal

New Delhi:?Amid the scorching heatwaves, the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday confirmed the deaths of Indian nationals who were on the Hajj yatra in Saudi Arabia. MEA spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal, during a weekly press briefing, said at least 98 Indians died during the hajj pilgrim. The clarification from the MEA came amid multiple media reports claiming more than a hundred Indian nationals died during the holy month. He said that those died due to natural causes.

All deaths were natural: MEA??

Jaiswal said at least six people died on Arafah Day, four were killed in separate accidents. He said the death toll in 2023 was much higher. According to Jaiswal, at least 187 Indians were killed during hajj.??"This year, we have 175,000 Indians who have already visited Hajj... So far, we have lost 98 of our citizens. These deaths have happened on account of natural illness, natural causes, chronic illness, and also old age. On the day of Arafat, six Indians died and four Indians died on account of accidents. Last year the figure of Indians who died in Hajj was 187..." he said.

Deadly heatwaves in Asia?

Amid the scorching heatwaves, a surprising media report claimed at least 550 people died during the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.? At least 550 people have died on haj, diplomats told French outlet Agence France Presse (AFP) on Tuesday. Three hundred and twenty-three of the dead were Egyptians, most of whom perished due to heat-related illness, AFP reported, citing two Arab diplomats.

?

It is worth mentioning that deadly heatwaves are scorching cities on four continents as the Northern Hemisphere marks the first day of summer, a sign that climate change may again help to fuel record-breaking heat that could surpass last summer as the warmest in 2,000 years. Record temperatures in recent days are suspected to have caused hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths across Asia and Europe.

In Saudi Arabia, nearly two million Muslim pilgrims are finishing the haj at the Grand Mosque in Mecca this week. But hundreds have died during the journey amid temperatures above 51 degrees Celsius (124 degrees Fahrenheit), according to reports from foreign authorities. Egyptian medical and security sources told Reuters on Thursday that at least 530 Egyptians had died while participating - up from 307 reported as of yesterday. Another 40 remain missing.

Countries around the Mediterranean have also endured another week of blistering high temperatures that have contributed to forest fires from Portugal to Greece and along the northern coast of Africa in Algeria, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth Observatory.

(With inputs from agency)

ALSO READ:?Hajj: At least 550 pilgrims die of heatstroke as temp climbs 50°C, maximum belongs to THIS country

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