*** ----> Death toll tops 1,000 after hajj marked by extreme heat | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Death toll tops 1,000 after hajj marked by extreme heat

AFP | Mecca

The Daily Tribune - www.newsofbahrain.com

The death toll from this year’s hajj has exceeded 1,000, an AFP tally said yesterday, more than half of them unregistered worshippers who performed the pilgrimage in extreme heat in Saudi Arabia. The new deaths reported yesterday included 58 from Egypt, according to an Arab diplomat who provided a breakdown showing that of 658 Egyptians who passed away, 630 were unregistered pilgrims.

All told, around 10 countries have reported 1,081 deaths during the annual pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam which all Muslims with the means must complete at least once. The figures have come via official statements or from diplomats working on their countries’ responses. The Hajj, whose timing is determined by the lunar Islamic calendar, fell again this year during the oven-like Saudi summer.

The National Meteorological Centre reported a high of 51.8 degrees Celsius (125 Fahrenheit) this week at the Grand Mosque in Mecca. According to a Saudi study published last month, temperatures in the area are rising 0.4 degrees Celsius each decade. In addition to Egypt, new fatalities were confirmed yesterday by Pakistan and Indonesia. Out of around 150,000 pilgrims, Pakistan has so far recorded 58 deaths, a diplomat briefed on the tally told AFP.