Sa Pa snowfall damages farms, attracts tourists

VietNamNet Bridge – Thousands of tourists have flocked to Sapa to see the snow-covered landscape while local people are in dismay.

Snowfall in Sa Pa Town in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai, which began Sunday, has caused serious damage to farms.

Snowfall in Sa Pa Town in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai, which began Sunday, has caused serious damage to farms.

According to the town’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, 100 hectares of chayote and another 100 hectares of flowers were destroyed, and all vegetables and other crops were buried by snow.

Heavy snowfall also led to constant traffic congestion on Highway 4D connecting Lai Chau and Lao Cai provinces. More than 50 cars were unable to continue driving, as of noon yesterday.

Local authorities reported that some 5,000 people flocked to Sa Pa to watch the snow, adding to the traffic congestion.

The province has quickly mobilised workers and rescuers to remove snow and assure that travel remains safe.

Tran Thi Dung, a flower grower in O Qui Ho, said with great sadness on December 17 that thick snow had come all of a sudden, destroying her flowers worth hundreds of millions of Vietnam dong.

The Hoa Dao Cooperative in Sapa town has fared even worse with more than 50 hectares of chayote and rose destroyed at an estimated lost of VND25 billion. Fifty member families are just waiting for snow thawing to start a new crop from a scratch.

Along Highway 4D from Trung Chai to Coc San, hundreds of huts have been set up to provide shelter for buffaloes.

By December 17, dozens of buffaloes had died in addition to the destruction of more than 2,000 sq.m of orchid gardening and 60 percent of chayote grown acreage.

Cold weather closes schools in Ha Giang Province

Students in all grades in the northern mountainous Ha Giang Province’s Dong Van and Meo Vac districts will not attend school today after temperatures dropped below one degree Celsius.

Local teachers are still required to report for duty at schools every day and will visit villages to encourage students to return to schools when the weather becomes warmer, head of the Meo Vac District Education Department Lam Quang Hung said.

Statistic from the province detailed that over 37,000 students were off from schools yesterday due to cold weather. The provincial department of education and training urged districts to maintain their schools and pay special attention to student’s health care, food, and medicine.

In the past several days, snow has fallen in the communes Lung Phin, Lung Cu, Pho Bang, Sa Phin of Dong Van District and Thuong Phung, Xin Cai of Meo Vac District.