The southern and delta districts were in for a fresh round of havoc as heavy and steady rains battered most areas in the two regions on Thursday.
The daylong downpour threw normal life out of gear in most of the southern districts and Thoothukudi bore the maximum brunt. Several low-lying areas, which had already affected by the previous spell, were inundated, sources said.
As a precautionary measure, 25 persons of nine families, who reside at a locality between two channels, where the flow is heavy, at Valasamudram village in Ottapidaram taluk, were evacuated to safer places by the Fire and Rescue Services personnel, the Collector said.
The downpour was so intense that water was running in and around Lord Murugan Temple in Tiruchendur.
Tiruchendur Tahsildar A Swaminathan said a house at Muthumariamman Kovil Street, was damaged fully and three others at Moolakarai, Ammanpuram and Manickapuram in Meignanapuram were partially damaged. The inmates of three houses at Arunachalapuram in Kayalpattinam and 12 houses at Kombuthurai were shifted to a relief shelter as rain engulfed the locality.
Kayalpattinam recorded the highest rainfall of 246 mm in the region till 4 pm on Thursday, followed by Tiruchendur 217 mm Kulasekarapattinam 110 mm and Sathankulam 83 mm. The Fisheries Department has advised fishermen not to venture into the sea.
Widespread rain in central districts
Widespread rains lashed the Delta region from Wednesday night and whole of Thursday. Two persons, including a five-year-old boy died in a wall collapse while one person was killed by lightning.
Though there was a brief break on Thursday, the downpour resumed in various districts, including Nagapattinam, Tiruvarur, Pudukkottai and Tiruchy.
In Thanjavur as many as 45 thatched houses and 14 tiled roofed houses were damaged in the rains and S Azarudeen (5), son of Saleem from Budalur died after the wall of his house collapsed around 2.30 am on Thursday. While Saleem, who got trapped in the debris, was rescued and rushed to the GH. Similarly, V Sivapakkiyam (85), of Peravurani in Thanjavur died on the spot after her hut collapsed. In Ariyalur, Thiyagarajan (50), a farmer from Senthurai, died after being struck by lightning while grazing goats.
Bodies of kids retrieved
Meanwhile, fire service personnel retrieved the bodies of two children, who were washed away in a tributary of Pambar river near Tirupattur on Thursday. Sanjana (3) daughter of Muthu and Nishant (2) son of Suresh both residents of Kurcilapattu near Tirupattur were playing in a tributary of the Pambar near their residence when they were suddenly pulled into the roiling water. On information, a fire and rescue services unit rushed to the spot and finally managed to retrieve the bodies of both the children.
1.38L ha crops lost in downpour
The recent spell of monsoon rains have caused extensive damage to crops in around 1.38 lakh hectares across the state.
“Out of the total 1.38 lakh hectares, crops in 89,731 hectares were completely damaged. Out of 89,909 hectares of paddy submerged in water, 65,434 hectares were completely affected. Even though paddy is more resilient and can withstand water for one week, continuous water stagnation has led to the extensive damage,” C Samayamoorthy, Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, told DT Next.
Tamil Nadu has received over 50 per cent excess rainfall when compared to the previous years. Due to the excess rainfall, crops in Delta districts suffered extensive damage. The Central teams, which took stock of damage in rain-affected areas, also inspected the affected crops.
According to the data provided by the Agriculture Department, Tiruvarur is the worst-affected district as a total of 16,457 hectares of crops were damaged and paddy suffered maximum damage. Next to Tiruvarur, Tiruvannamalai district witnessed damage to crops in 12,402 hectares and here also paddy topped as crops in 11,326 acres spoiled by rains.
Horticultural crops were also damaged extensively in 10,010 hectares. Tapioca was the most affected as 5,640 acres in Cuddalore was completely destroyed.
However, farmers are not happy with the enumeration exercise as they said that damages could be more when compared to the numbers furnished by the state.
“The state says that paddy crops in Kanniyakumari district did not witness any damage, But, in Thovalai region several thousands of acres of paddy have been damaged. The state should go for reassessment,” said KP Perumal, Secretary, Tamil Nadu Farmers Union.