One dead at Hyderabad zoo as heavy rains and strong winds lash city

Strong winds and heavy rain uprooted trees at Hyderabad’s Nehru Zoological Park on Saturday, which resulted in the death of one person.

The deceased was identified as 60-year-old Sultana, a resident of Puppalaguda who was sitting under a tree, when a huge branch broke and fell on her, which resulted in her death. Zoo authorities immediately notified the Telangana government, which announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the family of the deceased.

In a press note, zoo authorities said, “In the evening of April 20 at about 4 pm, there was an onset of heavy rain followed by strong winds which resulted in falling of huge trees of neem, tamarind, babul, cassia, gulmohar and peltophorum.”  

Around 50 to 60 trees were uprooted and at places, huge branches fell off, causing extensive damage to the power lines and visitor pathways, officials said.

“Immediate measures were taken to evacuate the visitors duly engaging all the battery vehicles, safari buses and all vehicles of zoo. The curator, deputy curator, assistant curators, and entire zoo staff have taken part in evacuating all the visitors safely outside the zoo and Addl Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) wildlife, Munindra, personally monitored the visitor evacuation process,” zoo authorities added.

The parking area was also extensively damaged and a few injured visitors were given first aid.  The zoo announced that on account of the winds and rain, facilities like battery vehicles, safari and toy train would not be available to the visitors on Sunday, April 24.

“Further due to the damage to the parking area, restricted parking facilities will be provided. All the visitors and the citizens are requested to cooperate with the zoo management,” zoo curator, Kshitija, said in a statement.