HA NOI (VNS) — The third cold spell of this year has killed hundreds of cattle and damaged thousands of hectares of rice, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The northern mountainous provinces of Lao Cai and Ha Giang have suffered the greatest losses after temperatures dipped below zero degrees Celsius in some areas.
Deputy Director of the Lao Cai Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Van Tuyen said nearly 300 heads of livestock in the province were killed by the cold spell, which has plagued the area since early this month, bringing the total number of dead cattle to 799 so far this year.
Freezing weather also damaged many hectares of crops, fruit and rice, he noted.
Giang A. Thinh from Sa Pa District claimed he has lost two buffaloes due to the cold snap so far this year. One live buffalo can be sold for VND17-18 million (US$800-860), but a dead one will only fetch VND3-5 million ($140-240), he remarked.
According to the ministry's statistics, nearly 2,200 cattle across the country have died due to the cold spell so far this year, including buffaloes, cows, horses and goats.
Cold spells have destroyed thousands of hectares of rice in many provinces. Bac Giang and Ha Nam provinces reported some 3,000-4,000 hectares of rice were damaged by the cold weather.
Harsh weather conditions have also led to many people being hospitalised, particularly children and the elderly.
The deputy director of the general hospital in Ha Giang's Bac Quang District said the hospital had received 150 people each day for health evaluations and treatment, up 10-15 per cent in comparison with warmer days. Common ailments and diseases included sore throats and bronchitis, he said. — VNS