Hanoi — In Northern Vietnam temperatures dropped below the freezing point, resulting in a rare snowfall in the region, it’s first in many years.
So many people piled into cars and drove into the mountainous region of Lao Cai and Ha Giang to see the unusual sight, that it caused a five-hour traffic jam, according to reports.
The snow has resulted in much traffic congestion on the road from Lao Cai City to Sa Pa, as thousands flocked to get a look at the rare spectacle, according to officials of the Nui Xe Forest Management Station in Hoang Lien National Park.
It is known that Sa Pa sometimes gets snow, but it is not at all common.
In the mountains, at a height of over 1,900 meters above sea level, temperatures had dropped to as low as minus 2 C, forming icy sheets which are 10cm to 20cm thick, said the Nui Xe Forest Management Station.
Sa Pa Town, in the northern Vietnamese province of Lao Cai, is a major national tourist attraction known for its natural beauty. It is even more beautiful at the moment covered with more than 5cm of snow.
Vietnam had already been experiencing unusual weather before the snow hit, with torrential downpours lashing the country during its dry season. The same has been happening in neighboring Laos and southeast China.
In Laos, Oudomxay received 142mm of rain in a single 24-hour period, while Zhanjiang in Guangdon province in China reported 102mm. This is three times the amount of expected rainfall for the entire month of December for Zhanjiang, said reports.
The heavy rains have caused flooding in many parts of the area, and has inundated peoples’ homes and made roads impassable. Conditions are expected to improve across the region over the next several days. The forecast calls for the rain to slowly move eastwards and subside, according to reports.
This news of unusual weather in the region comes shortly after another freak snowfall swept through the Middle East and covered Cairo, Egypt for the first time in decades.