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March rainfall sets new record

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WATER APLENTY: Flood water reaching Ramanathapuram big tank.
WATER APLENTY: Flood water reaching Ramanathapuram big tank.

C. Jaishankar

Highest rainfall since 1946: Agricultural Department

RAMANATHAPURAM: The ongoing rainfall has created history by surpassing all rainfall records registered in March since independence.

As per the records available with the agricultural department, the district has received a whopping 321.29 mm from March 1 to 24. The records reveal an astonishing piece of information. Though there are seven more days left in the month, this is the highest rainfall since 1946. The second highest rainfall – 131 mm- was registered in 1947.

March is one of the dry months and the average rainfall is just 25 mm. This month’s rainfall is almost 15 times the normal.

Statistics show that 1944 recorded 123.7 mm and 1954 registered 111.5 mm in March. In 1984, it registered 124 mm. Most months of March recorded below 20 mm.

“We are maintaining records since 1946. When we looked at them to know the record rainfall in March, we were astonished. No other March has registered this much rain,” says G. Mahalingam, Joint Director of Agriculture, Ramanathapuram.

“If you look at the pattern of rainfall, 321.29 mm could be the highest rainfall even during the last 100 years. In fact, it is far more than the average rainfall in the months of monsoon. There must be some strong reason for the unusual rainfall. A detailed study should be carried out to find out the reasons for the phenomenal rainfall,” he added.

Mr. Mahalingam also said most of the southern districts in the State had registered above 200 mm so far in the month. Which meant that it could be the highest rainfall in the districts also.

For 53-year-old T. Kumanan, Executive Engineer, Water Resource Organisation of PWD, Paramakudi, it is a different experience. He says during his 30 years of service in the PWD he had never witnessed the filling of all tanks in the districts where he served.

“All officers and ground staff are on their toes to prevent breaches in tanks. They spend day and night near the tanks. It is simply unimaginable during summer,” Mr. Kumanan says.

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