Low-lying areas worst affected
RAMANATHAPURAM: Tuesday was really a mixed day for nearly 65,000 residents of Ramanathapuram, as 21.68 cm rain lashed the town accompanied by lightning and thunders.
While a section of residents living outskirts of the town and farmers enjoyed the delight of seeing excellent rain after a gap of several months, residents living in the heart of the town faced a tough time to save themselves from the uncovered or improperly covered pits dug up for the underground drainage works.
Rain, which began around 10 p.m. on Monday in the town, continued till 9.30 a.m. People woke up to the heavy down pour in the early hours. Students and office goers could not move out of their houses. Several schools declared holiday.
The rain gauge station at Ramanathapuram recorded 216.8 mm, the highest rainfall recorded in the district on Tuesday. It excluded nearly one hour heavy rain after 8.30 am.
Highest rainfall in the town was recorded on December 11, 2005, when it received 35.1 cm. It was the highest in the history of Ramanathapuram. Above 200 mm rain registered a few times.
However the town returned to normality within a couple of hours though water stagnation compounded the woes of people, who were already at the receiving end over complaints of “casual approach” by municipal authorities in the ongoing underground drainage work.
The people of Thangappa Nagar, Om Sakthi Nagar and other low lying areas were the worst-hit. Several colonies were surrounded by rainwater. All four sides of the Tamil Nadu Housing Board colonies in the Collectorate campus were engulfed by water. Waist-level water was reported in Thangappa Nagar. There were reports that cyclists, motorcyclists and commuters falling down in the uncovered pits.
When contacted, the Collector, R. Kirlosh Kumar told The Hindu that there was no loss of property or human to the heavy rain. Municipal officials have been asked to take adequate steps to drain water wherever necessary and caution the people to negotiate carefully while passing the streets where underground drainage works were on.