LATEST UPDATE: More than 900 pilgrims die in heat wave, including 17 Moroccans; search for missing persons underway

More than 900 pilgrims have died during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, most of them due to a severe heatwave. It is feared that the number could be higher, as many pilgrims are still missing.

Hundreds of Egyptian pilgrims killed

Egypt was the worst-hit country in the disaster, with at least 600 Egyptian pilgrims killed. According to an Arab diplomat, all of these deaths were caused by the extreme heat, with temperatures reaching 51.8 degrees Celsius (125.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

Death toll from other nationalities rises

The total death toll has reached 922 pilgrims, according to AFP tallies from official sources in various countries. This includes 60 pilgrims from Jordan, as well as others from Indonesia, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia, and Iraqi Kurdistan. An Asian diplomat reported 68 Indian pilgrims among the dead.

Morocco announces 17 deaths

Moroccan authorities have announced the deaths of 17 Moroccan pilgrims, 3 of them in their hotel rooms. Jeddah Consul Abdelilah Daddas had previously announced the deaths of 5 Moroccan pilgrims.

Missing persons sought amidst anxiety

The families of many pilgrims are still searching for their loved ones who lost contact during the peak of the Hajj on Saturday at Mount Arafat.

The family of 70-year-old Tunisian pilgrim Mabrouka bint Salem Shoushana is in a state of great anxiety, as they have lost contact with her since then. The pilgrim was unable to access the air-conditioned facilities that allow pilgrims to cool down after hours of praying outdoors because she was not registered and did not have an official Hajj permit.

Social media used to search for missing persons

Families of the missing have turned to social media platforms like Facebook to ask for help in finding their loved ones.

The family of Egyptian pilgrim Ghada Mahmoud Dawoud has been searching for her since Saturday. “I received a call from her daughter in Egypt asking me to post a message on Facebook that might help find her,” said a family friend in Saudi Arabia who requested anonymity. “We haven’t found her on the lists of the dead, which gives us hope that she is still alive.”

Pilgrimage under the shadow of climate change

A Saudi study published in May warned that the Hajj season is increasingly exposed to the effects of climate change, with temperatures at pilgrimage sites rising by 0.4 degrees Celsius (0.7 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade.

Irregular pilgrims

Every year, tens of thousands of pilgrims try to perform the Hajj through irregular channels because they cannot afford the high cost of official permits.

Saudi efforts to treat heat stress cases

Saudi authorities have announced that they have treated more than 2,000 pilgrims suffering from heat stress during the Hajj season, without disclosing the number of deaths.


This tragedy is a horrific human catastrophe that highlights the growing risks facing pilgrims due to climate change. The families of the missing are calling on the Saudi authorities to provide more information and assistance in finding their loved ones.

About محمد الفاسي