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At Least 5 Hajj Pilgrims from Yogyakarta Die of Extreme Heat in Holy Land

20 June 2024 10:03 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Yogyakarta - The extremely hot temperature in Saudi Arabia, reaching 43 degrees Celsius, is believed to be one of the factors causing the deaths of Hajj pilgrims, including those from Yogyakarta.

The Indonesian Religious Affairs Ministry's Yogyakarta Regional Office recorded that at least five Hajj pilgrims from the region died during the pilgrimage, including a Hajj officer, as of Wednesday, June 19.

“Due to the extreme weather, many pilgrims, especially the elderly, were not strong. They experienced dehydration during the process of throwing the aqabah stone and felt weak,” Aidi Johansyah, Head of the Yogyakarta Hajj and Umrah Organizing Unit, said on Wednesday, June 19.

The five dead pilgrims were all elderly, over 60 years old. Two of them were residents of Bantul Regency, two were residents of Yogyakarta City, and one was a resident of Kulon Progo Regency.

Aidi explained that heat stroke or serious illness caused by hot temperatures is indeed one of the toughest challenges for Hajj pilgrims this year. He revealed that the peak temperature in the Holy Land is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time.

“It is extreme weather for the elderly, not to mention that the tents are full,” he added.

Aidi mentioned that the Saudi government had issued a strong warning and locked the fences that restrict Hajj pilgrims from performing stoning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Pilgrims violating the rules (throwing jurors amid scorching hot weather) will face deportation. It is indeed a strong warning.”

According to him, the dead pilgrims would be buried immediately in the Holy Land and would not be brought home to Indonesia. “That’s the rule in Saudi Arabia that [when Hajj pilgrims die, they will be buried there],” Aidi concluded.

PRIBADI WICAKSONO

Editor’s Choice: At Least 550 Pilgrims Died During Hajj, 144 from Indonesia

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