By late afternoon of Jan. 28, prolonged and continuous cold spells in the northern and central regions had killed nearly 38,000 heads of livestock, mainly buffaloes and cows, in 20 cities and provinces.

According to Nguyen Xuan Duong, Deputy Head of the Department of Livestock Breeding under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the number of livestock deaths was 5,000 higher than that of one day earlier.

Northern mountainous provinces were the hardest hit with Lang Son province reporting 6,674 livestock deaths, Son La, 5,853; Cao Bang, 4,777; and Lao Cai, 4,133.

Meanwhile, the Central Hydro-meteorological Forecast Centre on Jan. 28 said that northern localities and central coastal provinces will have rain as consequences of increasing cold spells in the coming days. It also warned that damaging cold will continue to hit the north, especially high mountainous region.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has proposed that the Government provide financial assistance worth 36 billion VND (1.8 million USD) for poor households to help them buy food for their cattle. Each household would receive 100,000 VND (5 USD) for each buffalo and cow lost.

Under the Prime Minister's Decision 142 to provide seeds and stock to farms and fisheries in areas hit by natural disasters or diseases, farmers will get 2 million VND (100 USD) for each buffalo or cow lost.

The ministry also asked authorities of affected localities to support local farmers and instruct them to keep their livestock indoors, keep breeding areas warm and make sure the animals have enough food. The breeding department has also sent missions to various localities to make sure farmers are taking the necessary precautions to protect their livestock./.