|Cows and buffalo killed by the cold spell are being sold on the 4D National Highway. — Photo VOV.vn|
LÀO CAI (VNS) — A cold snap has hit this northern mountainous province since last week, with temperatures plunging to around 5 degrees Celsius, causing vast damage to the livestock farming industry in Sapa Township.
The locals and authorities have complained of hundreds of cows and buffalo, the main asset of farmers in rural mountainous areas, being killed by the cold spell, which usually resulted in hoar frost.
Local farmers said they could not do anything to save their livestock as the cold weather had unexpectedly lasted for too long.
They said the only thing left to do was to sell the dead livestock in local markets or to visitors travelling along National Highway 4D, connecting Lào Cai City and Sa Pa Township.
Lưu Minh Hải, director of the Lào Cai Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting, said summer should have started by now, but mid-winter temperatures have prevailed.
Hải said this was proof of a very complicated climatic change that could continue to cause trouble for local agricultural production.
The weather forecasting official urged the locals to be more cautious and to prepare for the cold spell by taking every step to protect their livestock.
Earlier, in January this year, a cold snap sent temperatures plunging to below zero degrees Celsius in Sa Pa, the worst bout of cold weather since the start of winter.
Trịnh Xuân Trường, chairman of Sa Pa District’s People’s Committee, said ice had appeared on the Hoang Lien Mountain Range, where temperatures at 2,800 metres above sea level on the Fansipan peak had dropped to minus 1 degree Celsius.
The cold weather had also already caused losses for farmers in mountainous areas, with calves and old buffalo dying as the temperature plunged.
Lào Cai Province, particularly Sa Pa Township, suffered estimated damages of more than VNĐ5 billion (US$222,200). — VNS