NAGAPATTINAM: Heavy rains lashed Nagapattinam district for the fifth consecutive day today, inundating hundreds of houses and submerging paddy crops in thousands of hectares.
People have been evacuated to safety in Tarangambadi and Sirkazhi Taluks in the district where hundreds of houses have been flooded.
Due to a breach in Rajendran channel at Thalachankadu in Tarangambadi Taluk early morning, rain water surrounded by 300 houses in the area, said Tarangambadi Tahsildar Murugesan.
People of the area have been evacuated and are staying in relief camps, he said adding that PWD officials have taken steps to plug the breach.
In nearby Vaitheeswarankoil area of Sirkazhi Taluk, more than 300 houses have been inundated due to the breach in Tirunagari channel, said officials.
People residing in Vilakkumukkutheru and Therkkuveli areas of Vaitheeswarankoil have been evacuated and are staying in relief camps.
At Tarangambadi, Dansborg, the 400-year old fort built by the Danish on the seafront, is surrounded by water.
Accompanied by Nagapattinam District Collector C Sureshkumar, Tamil Nadu Handlooms Minister OS Manian visited several rain-hit areas in the district and inspected relief works.
Thalaignayiru, Vedaranyam and Nagapattinam Taluks in the district too have been experiencing heavy rains.
The sea remains very rough and people could see tides of several feet high at many places.
More than 10,000 fishermen did not venture into the sea for the fifth consecutive day.
Salt production in Vedaranyam area has come to a standstill as saltpans in 10,000 acres of land remain submerged.
Samba and Thalady paddy crops raised in over 75,000 hectares out of the total 1.28 lakh hectares remain submerged in the district.
"Predominantly, machine transplantation was adopted in the district. Crops are of very short height and they have transplanted only a couple of weeks ago. They remain totally submerged and crops will soon start decaying if rains continue to batter or water remains stagnant," said Arupathy Kalyanam, general secretary of the Federation of Farmers Associations of Delta districts.
Speaking to PTI, Kalyanam said while the paddy fields are submerged, the water bodies are not in a position to hold water.
"Channels and rivers have not been properly desilted due to large-scale encroachments of water bodies. Unless the encroachments are removed, flooding will continue to happen affecting agriculture and normal life," he said.
Several parts of the state including the capital Chennai and its neighbouring districts have been receiving heavy rainfall in the last 24 hours as the North-East monsoon has been active.