Severe cold wave conditions since the beginning of winter this year have caused much difficulty for people in the northern region with farm crops suffering and an increasing number of people being hospitalized with weather related ailments.
|Snow has covered O Quy Ho Mountain Pass in Sa Pa District of Lao Cai Province since the beginning of the year (Photo: SGGP)|
Temperatures plunged to below 10 degrees celsius in the northern region and to subzero level in Lao Cai Province, where snow and icy layers covered the Hoang Lien Mountain Range and O Quy Ho Mountain Pass for two consecutive days on December 31 and January 1.
People in Sa Pa District have moved their livestock to suburban areas in Lao Cai City and Bat Xat District to avoid the biting cold.
Farmers in the Red River Delta said that low temperatures and frost at night has affected vegetable and rice crops in the last month.
General hospitals in the mountainous provinces of Lang Son, Cao Bang, Lai Chau, Lao Cai and Yen Bai received hundreds of people in the last few days, causing overloading.
Nguyen Van Thuan, director of the General Hospital in Lao Cai Province said that they are operating at three times the capacity to treat nearly 500 patients at present. The numbers of children coming for health checks and treatment have surged to 200 a day. Several elderly people have also fallen sick.
Hospitals in Hanoi, like the National Hospital of Pediatrics, Bach Mai and Saint Paul, are also treating a large number of people with weather related ailments.
According to Can Phu Nhuan from the National Hospital of Pediatrics, they now receive an average of 1,800-2,000 children a day, an increase of 25 percent above normal. The respiratory ward at Saint Paul Hospital is also seeing more than 500 children a day.
Le Thanh Hai, deputy director of the National Hydro Meteorological Forecasting Center, said that from now until Tet Lunar New Year, the northern region will suffer another 4-5 extreme cold waves.
These cold waves will also affect the central region and bring strong northeasterly winds and cause rough seas with 4-5m high waves.