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BEIJING — The coldest winter in decades is causing blizzards in northern China and threatens electric power supplies in the south where the government is not used to dealing with such freezing temperatures, China media said Wednesday.
About 180,000 cattle have died in the north while hundreds of emergency shelters have opened in southern China to help people who do not have adequate housing or heat to survive the below-average cold.
The National Meteorological Center reiterated Wednesday that southern China will be under heavier-than-normal snow, rain and freezing temperatures for the next few days, according to the state-run Xinhua News Agency. Shelters equipped with quilts, coats and food have opened in Hefei, capital of Anhui province.
"You can find shelters and aid stations for the elderly and homeless in all communities and villages in our district," Zou Zhongxian, a civil affairs official in the city's Luyang district, told Xinhua.
Record cold has struck India as well, and even the Middle East.
The fiercest winter storm to hit the Middle East in years brought a rare foot of snow to Jordan on Wednesday, caused fatal accidents in Lebanon and the West Bank, and disrupted traffic on the Suez Canal in Egypt. At least eight people have died across the region.
In Israel, snow fell outside Jerusalem, an unusual occurrence. Three feet of snow fell on Mount Hermon, and flakes were falling in Nazareth as well as in Galilee. Several roads were closed in northern Israel because of heavy snowfall.
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