80-year-old man dies in historic cold snap

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Snow falls in Nghe An Province for the first time on January 24, 2016 as temperatures drop to as low as minus five degrees Celsius. Photo: Bang Tran/VnExpress Snow falls in Nghe An Province for the first time on January 24, 2016 as temperatures drop to as low as minus five degrees Celsius. Photo: Bang Tran/VnExpress

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An 80-year-old ethnic man in a poor mountainous area in Nghe An failed to survive the worst cold in history earlier this week, with snow falling for the first ever time in the central province, officials said Tuesday.
A local leader said the man, who came from a very poor family, died Sunday afternoon as temperatures dropped to minus five degrees Celsius in some parts.
The exact cause of death has however not been determined.
The man was a member of the Thai ethnic group, which lives near the Laos border at more than 2,000 meters above sea level.
Snow and frost between Sunday and Tuesday afternoon piled up to 10-20 centimeters in many places, a phenomenon never recorded anywhere in the province before.
An 18-month-old baby girl died in Nghe An of carbon monoxide poisoning last week after her family heated their house with charcoal during the historic cold snap.
Four others in the family, including the girl’s newborn brother and mother, were also hospitalized.
Nghe An is among many localities in the central and northern regions to be hit the past several days by the worst cold spell in the country in 40 years.
There has also been snow in many parts of the northern highlands and Ba Vi mountain near the capital city of Hanoi.
Officials in the northern mountainous provinces of Lao Cai and Son La said the cold has caused at least VND36 billion (US$1.6 million) worth of losses by killing more than 600 heads of cattle and destroying large areas and vegetable fields.
Nearly 200 cows, buffaloes, and goats died in nearby Lang Son Province and more than 4,000 hectares of crops have been affected.
The National Hydro-meteorological Forecasting Center said the cold spell would last until Wednesday.

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