Haj pilgrims have arrived in Arafah safely: Muis

Muslim pilgrims gather atop Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca on Monday, Oct 14, 2013. The 680 Singaporeans, who left for Saudi Arabia for the annual haj pilgrimage, hav
Muslim pilgrims gather atop Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca on Monday, Oct 14, 2013. The 680 Singaporeans, who left for Saudi Arabia for the annual haj pilgrimage, have arrived safely in Arafah on Sunday, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) in a Facebook post on Monday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

The 680 Singaporeans, who left for Saudi Arabia for the annual haj pilgrimage, have arrived safely in Arafah on Sunday, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) in a Facebook post on Monday.

Muis said that the facilities at Maktab 74, where the Singaporeans are being housed, are in good condition despite reports of bad weather in the region. Madinah was hit by flash floods on Oct 9, while Arafah experienced thunderstorms that damaged a number of tents set up for pilgrims.

This year, the 30-day pilgrimage has been hit with a number of problems, including the outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome. Some 136 pilgrims from Singapore also had their visas reinstated only three weeks ago. Saudi Arabia officials had initially shrunk Singapore's official quota of 680 due to expansion works near Mecca's Grand Mosque.