ABOUT 18,000 people have been stranded by severe snowstorms in northwest Qinghai province. Xinhua (the New China News Agency) last night said at least two people, including a child, froze to death in Zado county in the subzero temperatures. The cold weather, which began in October, has killed almost 80 per cent of livestock in four townships in the area, where temperatures have fallen to minus 40 degrees Celsius. The number of people suffering from frostbite has also risen dramatically in the townships. 'An official in Moyun township said that by January 21, 90 per cent of the livestock had died, all of Moyun's 3,272 residents had almost used up their food supplies, and they had run out of fuel,' Xinhua reported. 'Rescue efforts have been hampered because the roads to the four townships have been covered with deep snow. The prefecture Government has sent 10 bulldozers to open those roads.' Official reports said hundreds of soldiers had been mobilised and emergency supplies had been airdropped to the stranded villagers.