PM orders inquiry into ‘neglect of duty’

Met Dept failure to predict thunderstorm

Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad—Prime Minister Office has sought an inquiry into the reported failure of the Pakistan Metrological Department (Met Office) in predicting June 1 storm warning. Several people lost their lives, around 17, while dozens of motorcars and properties worth millions of rupees were damaged in that storm.
According to sources in the PM Office, Prime Minister Nawaz directed issuance of a letter and sought an explanation from Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) over its failure to forecast the severe thunderstorm that struck Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad.
The storm was wild and could be predicted in the evening but the Met Office owing to traditional lethargy and relying on its office’s routine work like recording temperature of various cities didn’t pay attention to the strong winds that were coming in the capital’s direction.
The winds were followed by thunderstorm and heavy rain and the people of the twin cities were caught unaware as there was no such warning by the Met Office in the day’s bulletin. As a result of the storm Rawalpindi experienced worst power loadshedding and some parts of the garrison city were without electricity even on the third day, June 3, since the storm struck the twin cities.
The June 1 storm killed at least seven and injured dozens in Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), causing significant damage to property and infrastructure.

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