Prolonged and damaging cold spell killed thousands cattle, and damaged rice seedlings in the north and caused rough sea in the central region, while forest fires threaten many provinces nationwide.

According to Livestock Breeding Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, by 4p.m. of Jan. 23, long spell of cold killed 25,200 buffaloes and cows in many localities with northern mountainous provinces being hardest hit.

Noteworthy was Lang Son province, where over 5,000 buffaloes and cows died or an average of 600 deaths per day. Cao Bang saw nearly 3,800 buffalo and cow deaths; Lao Cai, over 3,100; Lai Chau, over 2,700 and Son La, nearly 2,400.

Responding the situation, local authorities have provided feed to poor households for their cattle and given instructions to help local residents to care for their buffaloes and cows.

Cold weather also damaged nearly 30 ha of rice seedlings in Hanoi ’s Gia Lam, Dong Anh and Thach That districts. The Hanoi Agriculture and Rural Development Department asked local authorities to guide farmers to care rice seedlings and carry out preventive measures to prepare for cultivation of the Spring rice crop.

Strong winds caused rough sea in the central region, preventing the supply of food and rice to the Be (small) island in the Ly Son district of Quang Ngai province. More than 200 people in the island are lacking of food, foodstuff and fuel.

The Forestry Ranger Department has warned Bac Giang, Ha Nam, Ninh Binh and Thanh Hoa provinces in the north, Binh Phuoc in the south and Kon Tum in the Central Highlands about possible forest fires due to dry weather./.