Cyclone Nisarga has hit Mumbai and the city is getting set to tackle the first cyclone that has hit it in over a century.
"The Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘NISARGA’ over Eastcentral Arabian Sea moved northeastwards with a speed of about 13 kmph during past 06 hours and lay centred at 0830 hours IST of today the 03 rd June, 2020 over Eastcentral Arabian Sea near latitude 17.6°N and longitude 72.3°E, about 130 km south-southwest of Alibagh (Maharashtra), 170 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 400 km south-southwest of Surat (Gujarat)," the Ministry of Earth Sciences said in a statement.
Mumbai and its surrounding areas of Thane, Navi Mumbai, Palgarh and Alibag have been put on high alert, after the cyclone was expected to make its landfall at Alibag this morning. Section 144 has been imposed in Maximum City till Thursday to avoid any untoward incident.
South Mumbai's Kalachowki, as well as G Road in Marine lines witnessed trees falling. There is no confirmation to the extent of damage in these two areas
One tree even fell near Mukesh Ambani's home Antilla in Altamount Road in South Mumbai.
A tree fell in Cuff Parade near GD Somani School as well and blocked both sides of the road.
The authorities also shut down Bandra-Worli Sea Link and traffic was halted
Meanwhile, those living on the coastal part of the city, particularly the residents of various koliwadas, were relocated. Free Press Journal photographer BL Soni managed to get pictures of local residents from the fishing village at Bandra Bandstand getting relocated to the hall in Father Agnel College, located nearby.
Fishermen at Worli Koliwada, too, did not take any chances, and with the help of local authorities managed to bring their boats away from the sea
Marine Drive, popularly known as the Queen's Necklace, which is always a photographer's favourite to take monsoon images, didn't look as wild as it does during the rainy season. However, when this picture was taken, there wasn't that much intensity of rain reported.
Mahim Causeway, too, saw residents getting shifted from their shantis located near the sea to municipal schools that will not see as much impact as kuccha homes would.
Meanwhile, carnivorous animals in Mumbai zoo have been shifted to holding areas in their enclosures to keep them safe from rain and strong winds, an official said on Wednesday.
A zoo emergency response team is on alert to avoid any untoward incident, he said.
Since the city has been experiencing rain, authorities at the Veermata Jijamata Udyan, also popularly known as Byculla Zoo which is spread over an area of 50 acres,are taking all steps to protect the animals against the rough weather and avoid any damage due to tree falls.
Carnivores like tigers, leopards and hyenas have been shifted to the holding areas, an official from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) said.
"The holding areas are safe to avoid any damage from tree fall. A 20-member zoo emergency response team, comprising animal keepers, gardener and tree-trimming and security staff, is on the job to tackle any untoward incident," he said.
Officials are keeping a watch on the animal enclosures with the help of CCTVs installed in the premises, he said.
Zoo animals usually have at least two areas where they are housed- the holding area and the exhibit area.
During visiting hours, zoo animals are housed in their exhibit area. In the morning, before the zoo opens, they move into the holding area for husbandry care and to receive food.
As soon as the cyclone made landfall at Alibaug, the NDRF team was in full swing to ensure that everyone was kept safe. Some pictures showed how some trees had collapsed in the area