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The Vietnam News

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Coldest Vietnam in 40 years, snow in the towns

Ice and snow cover the Hoang Lien Son Mountain and even Sa Pa town in northern Lao Cai province of Vietnam, with outdoor temperatures around 3 degrees below zero (Celsius), local media reported.

News agencies said it was the most severe frost on Hoang Lien Son Mountain in at least 40 years - and the longest cold snap ever recorded in Vietnam. The reports are complete with photos of snow-covered trees and brush in the northern province. The severe and chilling cold spell has killed nearly 1,000 cows and buffalo in the province, reports said.

The record month-long cold has killed several thousand cattle across the northern provinces near southern China, particularly in highland areas, with 2,000 animals frozen in Ha Giang, nearly 1,500 in Son La and 1,000 in Lang Son, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat. The ministry’s cultivaion department director Nguyen Tri Ngoc reported that the cold had devastated more than 53,000 ha of rice and 5,000 ha of grain in 16 provinces, including Hai Duong, Thai Binh, Phu Tho, Hung Yen, Ha Nam and Haiphong City. Mr Ngoc attributed much of the heavy losses to farmers’ negligence of the cold and the ministry’s warnings.

The record 30-day cold spell started on January 14. The previous longest cold spells lasted for 26 days in 1968 and 28 days in 1989.

By Ho Binh Minh - Reuters - February 15, 2008.