(CNN) -- At least eight people have died in a cold snap in Argentina in the past several days, the nation's state-run news agency reported.
Half the country is covered in snow and the capital Buenos Aires recorded its lowest temperatures in a decade on Friday, Telam reported.
Mercury fell to -1.5 degrees Celsius (29 degrees Fahrenheit) in the capital, close to the coldest temperature ever recorded there.
The cold snap is causing record demands on gas and electricity, the Planning Ministry said, according to Telam. It has put restrictions on business and industry use of gas to ensure homes have enough, the agency reported.
CNN's Gustavo Valdes contributed to this report.