Source: XINHUA | 2013-1-5 | ONLINE EDITION
ULAN BATOR, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia has been gripped by an extreme cold snap coupled with heavy snows, which have disrupted the life of herders in rural areas, local media reported Saturday.
Strong winds and a dramatic fall in temperatures have hit a large part of Mongolia. In some areas, the lowest temperature has plunged to minus 50 degrees Celcius, the reports said.
The National Emergency Management Authority of Mongolia said Friday that over 80 percent of the Mongolian territory was covered with snow that could be as thick as 1.3 meters in worst-hit areas.
It has become impossible for livestock to find grass on the snow-covered pastureland in 55 counties of 15 provinces nationwide, the authority added.
Roads in some areas are also cut off by heavy snow and over 3,000 herders in rural area could not get medical assistance from outside.
The Mongolian government has sent working groups to disaster areas to assess the situation and conduct rescue operations. Local authorities have also been ordered to take immediate actions to restore road traffic.