PM orders inquiry into Met Dept’s ‘failure to predict storm’


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday sought an explanation from Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) over its failure to forecast the June 1 thunderstorm that struck Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad.

In a letter issued on Friday, the PM ordered the Met Director General (DG) Dr Ghulam Rasool to submit an explanation of the “very serious and culpable neglect of duty” that resulted in failure to predict the storm, which killed at least 40 people.

The thunderstorm was visible “even to the naked eye” around 4 pm on June 1, the letter said.

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

The latest warning from the department’s website dates from May 16, while there is no archive of previous daily forecasts to confirm whether it detected an incoming storm.