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Hajj pilgrims endure 47 degrees in Saudi Arabia

Muslim pilgrims rest in Arafat, on the second day of the annual hajj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, June 15, 2024
Muslim pilgrims rest in Arafat, on the second day of the annual hajj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Saturday, June 15, 2024 Copyright Rafiq Maqbool/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Rafiq Maqbool/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Daniel Bellamy with AP
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Water misting systems are one way the authorities are trying to cool pilgrims who face soaring heat at this year's Hajj in Mecca.

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Around Al-Rahma, or Mercy, hill, tall water-misting columns were spraying water on pilgrims on Sunday who gathered at Mount Arafat as part of the Hajj rituals for day-long worship and reflection.

At Mina and the Grand Mosque, cooling stations on the roads leading to the mount and in its surrounding areas sprayed pilgrims with water to help combat the heat, which had already climbed to 47C (116.6 F) at Mount Arafat, according to Saudi Arabia’s National Centre for Meteorology.

Saudi authorities expect the number of pilgrims this year to exceed two million, approaching pre-coronavirus pandemic levels.

They are urging pilgrims to use umbrellas and, unsurprisingly, drink lots of water.

“We consume lot of cold water, and we stay in the shade,” said Noureddine Al-Rifai, a pilgrim from France with Tunisian roots

Most of the pilgrims at Mount Arafat carried umbrellas, while others sat in the shadow of a few trees and buildings around Al-Rahma hill.

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