THE coldest weather for 30 years has brought temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees Celsius and left about 260,000 people in need of emergency aid in northern China's Inner Mongolia region, state media says.
The cold spell killed at least two people and about 180,000 head of livestock, affecting some 770,000 people across Inner Mongolia since late December, the Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.
More than 3700 people were evacuated, the agency quoted local officials as saying.
The cold weather also caused a build-up of sea ice that stranded about 1000 boats in Laizhou Bay in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, reports said.
Over 140 flights from the state capital airport in central Hunan province were delayed, while heavy snowfall forced the closure of some sections of the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway, the China Daily said.
China's average winter temperatures since late November were the lowest for 28 years, the Meteorological Administration said on Saturday. In fact they have not risen above MINUS 3.8 degrees.
The average in the three northeastern provinces bordering Siberia hit a 43-year low of minus 15 degrees, the administration said.
Temperatures in parts of Inner Mongolia fell to minus 40 degrees last week and snow lay up to 50 centimetres deep in the Greater Hinggan Mountains, reports said.
In Mongolia, an independent nation that borders Inner Mongolia, temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius were recorded, Xinhua reported from Ulan Bator.
The agency quoted the Mongolian government as saying snow up to 1.3 metres deep had covered more than 80 per cent of the country, cutting roads and endangering livestock in many areas.