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La Paz - At least five people have died due to a cold snap in South America, which has also killed thousands of cattle and damaged crops, authorities said on Wednesday.
In Bolivia, heavy snowfall claimed at least three lives and thousands of families were reeling from a sudden dip in temperatures over the past week, according to regional officials.
Two of the dead were farmers who perished in the high up Ancomilla region of the department of Potosi, according to local mayor Jaime Choque.
Bolivia's Social Defence Ministry ministry said on Tuesday that an earlier victim died trying to save their livestock in the village of Huayllas in the central region of Cochabamba.
Four of the Andean nation's nine departments have suffered bad weather, leaving roads blocked and thousands affected. An official report on Tuesday said the snow had hit 15 municipalities, affecting almost 3 500 families.
In neighbouring Paraguay, two people died from hypothermia due to the chill that has also killed 4 000 cattle and affected 30 percent of the country's wheat crops, according to official reports released Wednesday.
Two adult men died of hypothermia in the departments of Itapua and Caazapa due to the sub-freezing temperatures. Two other deaths were recorded in July.
Animal health authorities urged farmers to cremate the cattle carcasses to prevent the meat from being sold illegally.
Agriculture Minister Jorge Gattini warned that losses in wheat crops would result in higher prices. - AFP