6 Feb 2011

Cold snap in northern Mexico

5:36 am on 6 February 2011

Much of northern Mexico is paralysed by freezing weather and snow which are producing lowest temperatures there in more than 50 years.

Thousands of homes are without electricity and water. Schools and factories are closed.

At least six people are reported to have died from the cold.

Among the worst-hit cities is Ciudad Juarez. Temperatures in the border city have dropped as low as -18 degrees.

AFP reports snow and sub zero temperatures are a rarity in this area. Ciudad Juarez is across the border from El Paso.

The BBC reports factories have been asked to reduce their consumption of power, and there have been blackouts in some areas.

Mexico is no longer offering to temporarily supply electricity to Texas, where power stations have similar problems.