Headline RoundupJune 24th, 2024

Over 1,300 Hajj Pilgrims Die Amid Record Heat in Saudi Arabia

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Over 1,300 Muslims have reportedly died during this year’s annual Hajj pilgrimage as temperatures reached around 50 degrees Celsius (122°F). 

The Details: Reports indicated that about 83% of the deceased were unregistered pilgrims who had to walk long distances under the sun without proper accommodation or means of transportation. Among those affected are an elderly couple from Maryland, whose bodies are yet to be located and returned to their family in the U.S. It is not unusual for people to die during the Hajj; per CNN (Lean Left bias), about 200 died last year.

For Context: As part of one of the five pillars of Islam, the Hajj pilgrimage is a mandatory duty for all Muslims to complete once in their lifetime, if they have the financial and physical means to do so. This religious journey often sees about two million pilgrims each year. However, recent years have seen a rise in extreme heat and droughts worldwide.

How the Media Covered It: Coverage appeared to be more common among mainstream internationally-focused outlets, most of which AllSides rates as Center or Lean Left. Some coverage explored specific angles or explanations; CNN highlighted interviews with two pilgrims who said there were “not enough medics or basic facilities.” Mentions of climate change were sparse and mainly found in outlets on the left and center. This summary was developed with the help of AllSides' AI technology.

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