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Heavy rainfall in Makkah, Mina after extreme heatwave

Amidst the extreme heatwave in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there was a relief yesterday when heavy rainfall was experienced in Makkah and parts of…

Amidst the extreme heatwave in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there was a relief yesterday when heavy rainfall was experienced in Makkah and parts of Mina where over 1.8 million pilgrims are performing the Hajj exercise.

The Kingdom had experienced extreme hot weather in the peak of the Hajj exercise in Mina where pilgrims are to spend three days performing, on a daily basis, the symbolic devil stoning.

The weather deteriorated with temperatures peaking to 46°C (119°F) in the Mina shade.

The Saudi weather service also reported a record high of 51.8°C (125°F) at the Grand Mosque.

Our correspondent in Makkah reported that the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah temporarily stopped pilgrims from proceeding to the Jamarat Bridge for the ritual of throwing stones from 11am to 4pm due to extreme heat, having recorded over 2000 cases of heat exhaustion on Sunday.

The Saudi Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Dr Abdulfattah bin Sulaiman, issued the directive in a statement on Monday in Mina, Makkah, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He said that the measure became necessary to ensure the wellbeing of pilgrims amidst high temperatures and to prevent heat stress.

“Accordingly, the following measures have been implemented: Pilgrims are prohibited from proceeding to the Jamarat Bridge for the ritual of throwing stones from 11am to 4pm.”

But yesterday (Monday), there was a relief when heavy rainfall was experienced in Makkah and Mina, bringing down the temperature and paving way for many pilgrims to go for their pebbles throwing, a compulsory rite of the Hajj reaffirming the pilgrims’ faith in the oneness of Allah.

Many pilgrims who defied the advisory to go for their stone throwing explained that the sun was scorching and dehydrating, and praised security agents sprinkling water at them from time to time during the walk to the Jamarat bridge.

Most Nigerian pilgrims are camped in tents which is about 3.5km to the Jamarat.

Our correspondent reports that many states’ and private tour operators’ pilgrims performed their stone throwing session yesterday by evening after the rainfall with the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) constantly passing information to Hajj officials to inform their pilgrims to remain under their tents in view of the scorching heatwave.

The pilgrims would start moving to Makkah today (Tuesday) after completing the rites in Mina, bringing the pilgrimage exercise to an end.

 

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