Cold weather hits northern provinces hinh anh 1A woman stores straw to proterct her cattle during cold weather in Lang Son province (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - People in the northern mountains shivered yesterday as temperature dropped to freezing point - and snow is likely to blanket Sa Pa Township on January 10.

On Lang Son province’s Mau Son Mountain, the thermometer dropped to minus 0.3 degrees Celsius on January 9.

“Yesterday was the coldest day since the beginning of winter,” Le Thanh Hai, deputy director of the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting said.

Data from the centre showed by 6am yesterday morning, the temperature fell to 3.2 degrees in Vinh Phuc province’s Tam Dao district; 3.4 degrees Celsius in Ha Giang province’s Dong Van district; 4.2 degrees Celsius in Lao Cai province’s Sa Pa district; and 4.8 degrees Celsius in Son La province’s Moc Chau district.

The centre warned that extreme cold weather was predicted to last until January 13. It said the temperatures would be 8-11 degrees in delta localities, 5-8 degrees in mountainous provinces and 3 degrees in high mountains. Hai added that the Mau Son area was in the centre of the cold spell.

Luu Minh Hai, director of Lao Cai province’s Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting, said snow was expected to fall on Fansipan Mountain and nearby Sa Pa Town on early January 10.

Hanoi is also experiencing the coldest weather since the beginning of winter with temperatures of 8-11 degrees predicted until January 10.

Officials in Lang Son province on January 9 allowed students to take a day off from school due to the extreme weather.

The provincial People’s Committee ordered relevant agencies to assist local breeders to keep their cows and buffaloes warm. The measures include providing shelters and deep straw and even lighting fires to keep the animals warm.

The provincial agriculture sector dispatched teams to villages to help local farmers protect their crop from the cold.

In Lao Cai province, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, Dang Xuan Phong, sent an urgent message to all units to help minimise damage to animals and crops.

Phong told the chairmen of People’s Committees to delay all non-urgent meetings to focus on helping residents.

The Hanoi’s Education and Training Department on January 9 said that parents should allow their children to take a day off from primary school if the forecast was for temperatures below 10 degrees. If temperatures fell lower than 7 degrees, secondary school students should stay home.

Local schools were told to contact parents to inform them about extreme cold days. - VNA