Cyclone Nisarga spares humans and animals, but destroys trees in Mumbai

Updated: 04 June, 2020 13:57 IST | Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

Animals in the Byculla zoo were shifted to safer places well in advance to save them from tree falls; hundreds of trees collapsed in the moderate wind in several areas across Mumbai

Fallen trees and branches litter a road at Malabar Hill. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Fallen trees and branches litter a road at Malabar Hill. Pic/Bipin Kokate

While Cyclone Nisarga didn't do much damage to life and man-made structures, hundreds of trees collapsed across the city.

With a wind speed of 26-50 km per hour, many trees were either uprooted or had branches falling.

Tree lovers blamed it on the ill-treatment given to the trees by years of development work. Animals in the Byculla zoo too were shifted to safer places to avoid tree collapse injuries.

The cyclone made landfall in Raigad district and spared Mumbai of serious damage. Colaba recorded 23 mm of rain while Santacruz recorded 12 mm rainfall till 4 pm and the wind speed was recorded at 26 km per hour — considered moderate breeze raising dust.

The civic corporation received 117 complaints of tree falls from across the city.

"We got 39 complaints from the south part of the city, 40 from eastern suburbs and 38 from western suburbs till 6 pm. No one was injured in these incidents," said a BMC official.

Zoru Bathena from Save Aarey said that the trees "were not strong enough to take the change of wind direction." Around four to five thousand trees fall every monsoon, he said.

Animals shifted
The BMC shifted all carnivores like tigers, leopards, hyena into their holding areas which are safer. "The zoo emergency response team of 20 people including animal keepers, gardeners, security staff and tree trimming team with all the necessary equipment were deputed to tackle any untoward incident. CCTV monitoring of areas prone to damage was also being done for quick response," said an official. While BMC was worried about water logging at the low lying areas, there wasn't a single instance reported. There were nine cases of house/parts of houses collapsing and 39 cases of electric short circuits.

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First Published: 04 June, 2020 07:06 IST

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