The northern mountainous provinces have been urged to take prompt action to protect crops and livestock from a cold snap which is forecast to hit the region in the evening of December 26.

The National Centre for Hydro-Meteorology Forecasting said the cold spell will last at least four days, bringing frost to the provinces.

Temperature is forecast to drop to 8 degrees Celsius in Hanoi.

According to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, frost and heavy snow had hit the region already this winter.

These phenomena are expected to continue battering the area, he said, instructing farmers to use nylon bags to cover seedlings in order to protect them from the hard weather.

Farmers were advised to harvest vegetables when they can and replant when the cold snap abates.

He also suggested farmers provide enough food for their livestock and not graze them when the temperature drops to below 12 degree Celsius.

Due to icy weather in early December, hundreds of cattle were killed and thousands of hectares of crops were damaged in the northern region.

In recent days, three northern provinces, namely Ha Giang, Cao Bang and Lang Son, have been implementing cold preventive measures for their herds of cattle.

In Ha Giang, thanks to the authorities’ drastic measures and active response of the locals, the province maintains the number of herd of cattle.

From early October, farmers have been encouraged to reserve food for cattle, reinforce breeding facilities and provided with information on raising cattle during cold weather.

In Cao Bang, local people were called to move their cattle to lower areas and bring cattle let wander in forest to villages, helping reduce the number of cattle died from cold weather. By December 25, 18 cattle in the province were reported to die.

In Lang Son, the authorities warned local people not to allow cattle to fields and higher areas when the temperature drops to below 12 degrees Celsius. They has also taken vaccination on cows and buffaloes and intensified quarantine.-VNA