Relatives of those missing during the Haj pilgrimage in Mecca They toured Saudi hospitals on Wednesday, after the death of at least 900 worshipers, most due to the heat wave.

>>> See more: Heat wave has claimed the lives of more than 500 people who were pilgrims to Mecca

At least 600 of those who died in this pilgrimage, which took place last week in the holiest city of Islam, are Egyptian nationals, an Arab diplomat told AFP.

All deaths (newly confirmed) were due to heat“said the diplomat, after Arab officials reported at least 323 Egyptian deaths.

Egyptian representatives in Saudi Arabia “have so far been informed of 1,400 cases of missing pilgrims,” ​​a figure that includes the 600 deaths, the Arab diplomat added.

These deaths bring the death toll this year in Hajj to 922.during which temperatures of up to 51.8 ºC were recorded, according to a death toll established by AFP based on data collected by country.

The husband of Mabruka bint Salem Shushana, a Tunisian septuagenarian, lost track of him since the climax of the pilgrimage to Mount Arafat on Saturday.

The woman, who was not officially registered among the pilgrims, could not therefore have access to the air-conditioned facilities. “She was very hot and had nowhere to sleep. I looked for her in all the hospitals and until now I don’t know anything about her,” says her husband, Mohamed.

This year, the hajj attracted around 1.8 million pilgrims, of whom 1.6 million came from abroad, according to Saudi authorities.

At least 240 pilgrims, mostly Indonesians, died in last year’s hajj.

Climate change?

Mohamed is not the only one desperately searching for information about a family member. Facebook and other social networks are flooded with photos of missing people and requests for information.

Nothing is known about the Egyptian Ghada Mahmud Dawud since Saturday. “I received a call from her daughter asking me to post a message on Facebook that could help find her,” said a family friend living in Saudi Arabia, who requested anonymity.

“We have not found her on the list of deceased, which gives us hope that she is still alive,” he added.

The hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and every Muslim who has the necessary means must do it at least once in their life.

The dates of the pilgrimage are determined according to the Muslim calendar, based on lunar cycles. The rituals have developed in recent years under heatwave temperatures.

A Saudi study published in May indicates that temperatures in places where rituals are carried out increase by 0.4ºC Celsius every ten years.

Every year tens of thousands of pilgrims try to do it on irregular roads, since they cannot afford official permits, which are often expensive.

In addition to the deaths of Egyptians, the deaths of 60 Jordanians were announced, as well as other pilgrims from Indonesia, Iran, Senegal, Tunisia and Iraqi Kurdistan.

An Asian diplomat reported “68 deaths” among Indian pilgrims.

The day before, diplomats stressed that 550 bodies had been transported to the Al Muaisem morgue, one of the most important in Mecca.

Saudi authorities claimed on Sunday to have treated more than 2,000 pilgrims suffering from heat stress, without providing precise information on deaths.

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