Madurai

Strong wind damages crops in Virudhunagar district

One of the many Madras Thorn Fruit (Kodikkaipuli) trees that was uprooted by strong wind on Friday night at Chinna Thathampatti near Virudhunagar.  

After a lockdown-induced loss in 2020 summer, strong wind played havoc for Madras Thorn Fruit (Kodikkaipuli) farmer K. Chinnathambi, 61, of Thathampatti this summer.

A gale on Friday evening left many of his well-grown trees either uprooted or their branches broken. Mr. Chinnathambi has some 100 trees, some of which are more than 80 years old.

While the harvesting season is between January and May, last year when COVID-19 outbreak was reported and the State government announced a 45-day lockdown, he could not send his produce on time to the markets that were closed by afternoon.

“This year, I was able to sell around 100 kg a day. But the gale broke the branches of many tall trees and some of them got uprooted. The huge branches that fell down brought down smaller trees,” he said.

The wind that started blowing around 6 p.m. lasted for two hours. “This morning, when I went to the farm, I was heart-broken on seeing the trees lying on the ground,” he said.

Stating that the fruits too had withered unable to withstand the wind, he said only the tender fruits were left in the trees. “The recent rain too had led to good quantity of fruits rot in the trees. Now, I have lost almost a good part of the yield,” he said. The fruit that had fallen on the ground got mixed with soil and would be fit for cattle feed only.

Meanwhile, he said his relative A. Muthiah had lost around 500 fruit-borne plantains in the village to the stormy wind. “All the bunches were in cutting stage after one year of hard work. But the unexpected rain brought down some 500 bunches,” he said.

Stating that the cutting would be taken up in phases with 50 to 100 bunches a day, he said taking 500 bunches to the market will not fetch good price due to increased supply.

Virudhunagar Joint Director of Agriculture S. Uthandaraman said the recent rain had been beneficial to farmers of horticulture and vegetable crops. Banana plantains in around two hectares were damaged in Thathampatti, Thayilpatti and Alangulam areas, he said.

Rainfall

Eleven out of 12 rain gauge stations in Virudhunagar district had recorded good amount of rainfall with an average rain of 22.95 mm. in the last 24 hours ending at 6 a.m. on Saturday.

While Srivilliputtur registered the highest amount of 58.40 mm of rainfall, Virudhunagar received 56 mm.

Rainfall reported in other stations is (in mm): Sattur 42, Tiruchuli 32, Aruppukottai 22, Watrap and Kovilankulam 16.20 each, Sivakasi 13, Pilavakkal 9.20, Vembakottai 5.40, Rajapalayam 5.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 6:55:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/strong-wind-damages-crops-in-virudhunagar-district/article34346177.ece

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