Inside brutal -53C cold snap in city where frostbite sets in within minutes

China’s ‘North Pole’ city of Mohe has broken its own record for the lowest ever temperature at a bitter -53C.

An intense cold snap is enveloping east Asia and Mohe in Heilongjiang province, China's northernmost province, has given the country's coldest ever temperature of -58C a run for its money.

In a bid to prove just how cold it is, one reporter cracked an egg onto a shovel outside – and it immediately froze. Other reports show inner walls in apartment blocks covered in a thick layer of ice.

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One resident even told Chinese media that his hands became numb within 10 seconds of going outside. Not surprisingly, authorities have warned people not to go outside, and coal consumption is up by a third.

Mohe, known as China's 'North Pole', is one of the few places in the country to have a subarctic climate – near to Siberia, Russia.

On Sunday, the local meteorological station recorded a temperature of -53C (-63F) at 7am, surpassing the previous coldest temp, -52.3C, in 1969.

Several areas in the Greater Khingan mountain range, which covers Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang, saw record lows this week.

Temperatures dipped below -50C in Mohe for three consecutive days since Friday.

On several occasions Scotland has seen temperatures of -27.2C, the lowest ever in the United Kingdom.

China Daily reported that Mohe is known as the country's coldest city and winters there usually "last eight months".

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But that comes with some good points as the city hosts a successful annual snow and ice festival.

And one tourist reportedly visited China's southernmost province, Guangdong, just to experience the harsh conditions.

"I didn't expect it to get below -50C this year, it was quite a surprise," he told Beijing News.

Police officers, firefighters, soldiers and street cleaners are being praised in the media as they continue to work outdoors.

It's worse in neighbouring Russia. Yakutsk, which is much, much closer to Beijing than to Moscow, saw temperatures plunge to -62.7C.

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