In case of thunderstorms, tell people what to do: PMO to IMD

RSTV Bureau
FILE: New Delhi: A billboard fell on a car on Vihar marg during strom in New Delhi, May 13, 2018. PTI

FILE: New Delhi: A billboard fell on a car on Vihar marg during strom in New Delhi, May 13, 2018.
PTI

Following several thunderstorms which led to the deaths of 200 people across seven states in past few days, the Prime Minister’s Office has asked the India Meteorological Department (IMD) to advise people on the action they need to take when it issues severe weather warnings.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences official has said that officials from his ministry and the IMD had been briefing the PMO about the recent thunderstorms.

Ministry of Earth Sciences Secretary M Rajeevan said that prime minister was “concerned” over the deaths caused by extreme weather conditions and had asked the IMD to give “actionable points”. “We need to really give actionable points on what action people should take,” Rajeevan said.

The PMO and the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) want alerts issued by the IMD to be more specific, he said.

FILE: New Delhi: A palm tree trunk fell on cars during dust storm in New Delhi, May 13, 2018. PTI

FILE: New Delhi: A palm tree trunk fell on cars during dust storm in New Delhi, May 13, 2018.
PTI

In a forecast for a severe storm, the PMO and the NDMA felt the IMD had to issue a warning saying, for instance, that “the system is really very severe and you have to be indoors and should avoid going out”, Rajeevan said.

“Such kind of advisories are required. Just informing (the people) and a description of the system is not enough,” he added.

The half first of May saw three western disturbances leading to deadly thunderstorms on May 2-3 and May 13-14. In incidents related to the storm, over 204 people were killed and 350 injured in seven states across the country, according to the Home Ministry figures. Uttar Pradesh alone witnessed over 120 deaths.

The IMD has now been issuings “nowcasts” in the case of extreme weather warnings with specifics about conditions expected within two-three hours.

For instance, for thunderstorms, it issues a warning to state that winds of a particular range of speed and rain are expected over a particular region in the next two-three hours.

(With inputs from PTI)