"Unprecedented" cold and snow in Iceland.

Thousands of sheep (13,000) buried alive in snowdrifts is nothing short of disastrous.

Here's a video showing the rescue of a sheep buried by snow.

Snow in North Iceland in early September is not unheard of but snowfall of two to three meters overnight at this time of year - when the sheep are still in highland pastures - is highly unusual.

Two to three meters (7-11 feet) of snow overnight! That's a small taste of what the mammoths experienced.

Armed with long sticks as used to look for people buried in avalanches, farmers in North Iceland have succeeded in finding hundreds of sheep. The search continues but hope grows fainter by the minute.

Although not all have survived, most of these amazingly hardy creatures were alive after days in icy graves.

To make it even more difficult, foxes are attacking the trapped sheep, often leaving them brutally injured.

The association of breeders speaks of unprecedented disaster.

Farmers say they have never experienced anything like this in their lifetime and hope they never will again.

Coupled with blackouts across the region, from Blönduós in the west to Þórshöfn in the east, due to icing of power lines and we're looking at an unprecedented situation, with real blizzards and extended blackouts throughout the region and motorists stranded in their cars.

Record snowfall

According to the Iceland Review Online, "it is believed to be a new record for snowfall at this time of the year".

Further links:

Winter Strikes Iceland

It 's already winter in Iceland

Unprecedented Cold And Snow In Iceland

Early Snow in North Iceland, Storm Warnings Issued

Thanks to Robert van deLeur, Laurel, Michael Gribble, Greg Mantle and Eunice Farmilant for these links