Tiruvarur is one of the districts that suffered terribly under the hands of Cyclone Gaja. Amidst all the timely precautions, the district was devastated by the cyclone. But the town, Muthupettai was spared from the lethal winds and waves of the monstrous Gaja. And this was possible because of the famous Mangrove forests in the region.
Tourists who visit Tiruvarur would not miss these Mangrove forest areas. There is usually no ferocity in the waters in that region. Along with the backwaters, the dense Mangrove trees that cover 120 kms is a sight to sore eyes. Apart from being an attraction, these forests have proven to be the first and best line of defense against Gaja. Compared with the other towns in the district, Muthupettai has received lesser damages.
K.Arivoli, District Forest Officer, Tiruvarur said that the Mangrove forests, due to its dense nature has greatly reduced the wind and resisted the impact of waves as well. He also mentioned that even in 2004 during the Dec 26 Tsunami, the Mangroves in Pichavaram village in Cuddalore withstood the deadly waves like a boss and reduced the impacts.
The places in the district that were not covered by Mangrove trees but by ordinary coconuts trees and others faced the fury of the cyclone. Those trees were easily uprooted but the Mangroove trees did not face the similar circumstances. It endured it boldly and stood its ground. Wherever there were no trees, the impact was catastrophic.
The value of trees should be spread to the common folks, especially to the younger generations. Nature has given us its own hands to defend us against its wrath. It is up to us to wield it or waste it.