PM directs Met Office to submit report on failure to warn about thunderstorm

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ISLAMABAD, June 3 (APP): Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Friday sought explanation from Director General Met Office over the serious lapse by the Pakistan Meteorological Department to timely warn about the thunderstorm that hit Islamabad, Punjab and various parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on June 1.

A letter dispatched by the Prime Minister Office and available with the APP, has been addressed to its Director General Dr. Ghulam Rasool seeking an explanation for the “serious and culpable neglect of duty.”

The Prime Minister, who is undergoing a cardiac treatment in London, was perturbed by the widespread damage and loss of precious lives caused by the high intensity thunderstorm on June 1.

The letter mentioned that the storm clouds were even visible to the naked eye in Islamabad by 4 in the evening.

However the Meteorological Department, despite the “modern equipment and technology available to it, failed to either forecast, or to issue an adequate warning, regarding the impending storm, which resulted in loss of so many precious lives, injuries and damages to property and installations.”

The letter asked the Director General to submit a report and his explanation for the neglect of duty, for the information of the Prime Minister.

Around a dozen people were reportedly killed in Rawalpindi, Islamabad and adjoining areas, while around 70 injured in storm related incidents. Around a similar number of deaths and injuries were reported from Khyber Pakhthunkhwa.

Falling trees damaged many cars, a fire broke out in shops at the Federal Capital’s fruit market, while a large number of flights had to be diverted.