​Snow ​in Sa Pa city, northern Lao Cai province (Photo: VNA)
Lao Cai (VNA) – Snow fell in many areas across the northern mountainous region as a strong cold spell envelops almost half of the country from January 23.

Snow blanketed Sa Pa resort city in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai on January 24 and temperatures plunged to minus 5 degree C on January 23 night, the lowest for many years. The temperature at Sa Pa was measured at 0 degree C on the morning of January 24.

Local elderly people said this is the biggest snowfall they ever saw for many years.

Freezing temperatures were also reported in other areas, such as minus 0.4 degree C in Tam Dao (Phu Tho province), minus 0.2 degree C in Dong Van (Ha Giang province) and minus 4 degree C in Mau Son Mountain (Lang Son province).

Tens of kilometres on national road 4D on the section from O Quy Ho Pass (Sa Pa district) to Tam Duong district (Lai Chau province) have been covered with snow and 1cm of ice, posing danger to traffic.

Local residents in Nam Bung and Tu Le communes, Van Chan district, Yen Bai province, were surprised to see snow fall for the first time in the area. Snow was also seen in higher areas, including Khau Pha Pass in Mu Cang Chai district, Suoi Giang commune in Van Chan and Hat Luu and Tram Tau communes in Tram Tau district.

In Hanoi, the highest temperature for January 24 was forecast from 7 to 10 degree C.

The cold spell has expanded as far as the south central localities, bringing rain to most areas along the central coast.-VNA