Bittersweet reactions across state to unexpected showers


Unexpected showers late Friday night and in the wee hours of Saturday brought a welcome relief to rising temperatures in the state, but also caused waterlogging in homes in areas that experienced very heavy rains.
"The showers are due to the low pressure over Lakshadweep and have no relation to the cyclonic winds over Rajasthan which have caused showers in other parts of the country," said K V Singh of the Goa meteorological centre, Altinho. Partly cloudy skies with the possibility of rain or thundershowers on Sunday are predicted. And met officials expect the showers to subside over the next 48 hours. The showers nonetheless brought temperatures-hovering at a maximum of 36.5C and a minimum of 24.5C over February 14-15-down to 32 (maximum) and 23.3 (minimum) on Saturday. Some regions across the state received very heavy showers on Friday-Saturday, with Ponda and Valpoi recording 25.4 mm and 31.5mm of rain respectively.
The downpours caught people, preparing for summer, unaware.
In several parts of Bicholim the showers led to panic as water entered homes from tiled roofs that are yet to be readied for the monsoon.
Ramakant Govekar, a Bicholim resident, told STOI, "We had stored our entire stock of firewood outside the house along with some eatables put out to dry so they can be stocked for use during the rains. All this got wet and destroyed leading to heavy losses."
Farmers in Canacona are worried that the unseasonal rains could hit the cashew and mango yield. Ryot Purso Velip from Gaodonguirim said the showers could lead to worms and infections in the cashew and mango crops which would mean a failed fruiting season.
When contacted, director of agriculture, S S P Tendulkar, said, "There are no chances of the showers affecting cashew plantations, but if it continues for the next few days, mango production could be affected as the flowering season is in full swing."
The showers saw power cuts and fluctuations across Salcete with several residential complexes and commercial establishments like hotels and shacks suffering outages for several hours.
The rains also affected beach tents and huts at Agonda, while a shack owner at Benaulim beach said customers were forced to sit at tables inside the shack rather than on the beach on Friday night. [TOI]