The wet spell continued in Tiruchi with most parts of the district receiving moderate rainfall on Wednesday.

Tiruchi city received intermittent rainfall right through the day. While there was a steady though mild rain for the most part, the city experienced sharp showers for about a couple of hours in the afternoon. There was an appreciable drop in temperature in the city. Farmers rejoiced as the spell would benefit the standing crops.

Roads take a beating

Many of the city roads have taken a severe beating in the sporadic spells of rain over the last month. But in most places, the Corporation was yet to begin even temporary repair works. Huge potholes have developed around the Central Bus Stand area, causing much hardship to motorists and thousands of commuters using the bus stand every day.

In some places, the Corporation has chosen to dump gravel and the latest spell of rains has reduced them to slush pools.

Nandhiyar Head in Tiruchi district recorded a maximum rainfall of 40 mm during the 24-hour period ending at 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday. The chief amount of rainfall recorded in other parts of the district during the same period (in mm): Kallakudi 23, Lalgudi 19.20, Pullampadi 18.20, Devimangalam 16.40, Tiruchi Town 13.60, Samayapuram 12.50, Koppampatti 12, Tiruchi Junction 11.10, Golden Rock 11, Airport 10.90, Marungapuri 10.40, Pulivalam 10, Navalurkuttapattu 9.60, Manapparai 8.40, Vathalai 7.40, Ponnaniyaru and Thuraiyur 6 each and Thathaiyengarpet 5.40. The district received an average of 12.01 mm of rainfall during the same period.

PUDUKOTTAI

Heavy rain battered coastal villages in Pudukottai district on Wednesday. Several parts of the district experienced moderate to heavy rains affecting normal life. According to farmers, the rains were timely and beneficial to the standing samba paddy crop raised in the tail-end taluks.

Kattumavadi in the district recorded the highest rainfall of 112 mm in the last 24 hours till 8 a.m. on Wednesday. The chief amount of rainfall recorded in other places were: Meemisal 104 mm; Manamelkudi 101 mm; Aranthangi 75 mm; Nakudi 55 mm; Ayinkudi 54 mm; Keezhanilai 53 mm; Karambakudi 44 mm; Aranthangi 35 mm; Gandarvakotti 34 mm; Annavasal 32 mm; Adhanakottai, Arimalam, Karaiyur and Keeranur 30 mm each; Perungalur 26 mm; Tirumayam 25 mm; Pudukottai 24 mm; Iluppur 23 mm; Kudumiyanmalai 13 mm. Udaiyalipatti 12 mm and Ponnamaravathy 9 mm.

Fishermen did not venture into sea. All private and government educational institutions remained closed following heavy rains.

Moderate rains in Perambalur, Ariyalur districts

Widespread moderate rain was reported in several parts of Perambalur district on Wednesday. The district recorded a total rainfall of 167 mm in the last 24 hours till 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Venbavur received the maximum rainfall of 58 mm followed by Perambalur 46 mm, Thazhuthaazhai 35 mm, Chettikulam 15 mm and Paadaalur 13 mm.

Several places in Ariyalur district experienced light to moderate showers on Wednesday. Jayamkondam recorded the highest rainfall of 35 mm in the last 24 hours till 8 a.m. on Wednesday followed by Tirumanur 24 mm, Ariyalur and Sendurai 8 mm each.

A holiday was declared for all educational institutions in Perambalur and Ariyalur districts on Wednesday in view of the rains.

Ariyalur Collector T. Abraham said on Wednesday the water level had touched the full level in 45 irrigation tanks out of 69 tanks under the control of the Public Works Department in the district and nearly 50 per cent of the 1,067 tanks and ponds in the district had reached the full tank level.

Staff Reporters’ reports follow:

NAGAPATTINAM

Relentless rain has claimed a human life here in Vedaranyam. A 75-year old woman was washed away in a rainwater drainage channel on Wednesday early morning.

Two persons, a father and son were injured in a wall collapse in Mayiladuturai and are being treated at the Mayiladuturai General Hospital. Further, eight livestock was killed in the rain. Eight houses were completely damaged and 31 houses were partly damaged.

Over 24,127 ha of Samba area stood inundated in the district with about 14,375 wilted in the rain. The District Collector C. Munianthan inspected the fields in Velankanni, Thirupoondi, Keevazhur, Pradhamaramapuram, Melapidaagai, Eesanur, Pannaitheru, Manakudi, Thalainayar, Neermoolai, Alangudi and Vettaikaraniruppu on Wednesday. Water was being drained out of some fields with the extent of damage remained to be ascertained.

Further, the Collector has directed relaying of damaged roads along the Alangudi Thalainayar stretch, south of River Harichandra.

The rainfall figures for the 24 hour period up to 8 a.m. on Wednesday were as follows. Thirupoondi 162 mm, Manalmedu 143 mm, Mayildaturai 147.8 mm, Thalainayar 135.8 mm, Nagapattinam 119.6 mm, Tharangamdi 114.2 mm, Sirkazhi 99.5 mm, Kollidam 85 mm and Vedaranyam 38.2 mm, with a recorded average 116.12 mm.

A. Annadurai, District Revenue Officer, R.V. Karunakaran, Joint Director, Agriculture, Kamaraj, Divisional Engineer, Highways, were among those who accompanied the Collector.

KARUR

The continuing wet spell induced by the depression has helped farmers in Karur district a great deal even though they feel that any more rainfall beyond the current bout could pretty well endanger their varied crops. As of now, the farmers are happy that the rains have helped their standing crops.

As far as wetlands are concerned, both cash crops and paddy have received enough rainfall and that would help the farmers to a huge extent. But for the rainfed crops, except those that have been sown in Purattasi, the rains cannot be of any help. Since the Purattasi sowing season was dull, the rainfed areas could not savour the current rain and benefit from that. But for those who sowed rather late, the current rains would be helpful.

Also, conventional crops have suffered as the below normal rainfall in the past four months did not encourage the farmers to take up sowing at the right time. The area under conventional crops and millets might have taken a beating, farmers aver.

In Kulithalai and Krishnarayapuram belts, early and late samba crops have been in good condition and rains have helped them. Farmers who have raised the banana fields in the Adi Pattam season are going in for manure application and the current rains would only aid the off-take process of manure. For the Masi Pattam crop, the rains would help in the final manuring process assisting in the faster intake of natural nitrogen and potash besides the micronutrients from the soil, according to the convener of the Farmers Discussion Group, Kulithalai, A.V. Gopaladesikan.

But the betel vine farmers are keeping their fingers crossed as any stagnation of rainwater in their fields would wipe out the entire garden. Already they were resorting to frequent draining of water and the cost of labour was pinching them. Any stagnation of rainwater in the fields could destroy vines and they would become vulnerable to pest attacks, say sources in the Department of Agriculture.

An overwhelming majority of the farmers in the district have been pretty comfortable with the rains but they fear that continued rains would spell doom for them.

Rain continues

Meanwhile rain continued to batter several parts of Karur district with no let up in sight. Karur, Kulithalai, Aravakurichi and Velayuthampalayam areas experienced intermittent, moderate and nagging rain in the past four days throwing routine life into a spin.

Sky remained mostly overcast and low lying areas sported sheets of water as the streets and roads remained drenched.