MeT department told to advise people on action to take during severe Weather Warnings

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Alerts from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) will now have specific “actionables” on what to do in times of severe weather. With over 200 people having died across seven states due to recent thunderstorms, the Prime Minister’s Office has asked the department to also specifically advise people on the action they should be taking during bad weather.

This will be part of the alerts from the IMD that is currently in the form of ‘nowcasts’ which warns people of an impending thunderstorm or dust storm expected to occur within two hours along with a wind speed range.

Rajeevan said that these could include advisories such as ‘Remain indoors since the storm is very severe’ or ‘Avoid standing under trees or billboards.’ “Such kind of advisories are required since tragedies continue to happen.

Secretary M Rajeevan said the prime minister was “concerned” over the deaths caused by extreme weather conditions and had asked the IMD to give “actionable points”.

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Officials from his ministry and the IMD had been briefing the PMO about the recent thunderstorms, he said. The PMO and the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority want alerts issued by the IMD to be more specific, he said. “We need to really give actionable points on what action people should take,” Rajeevan told 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, which were one of the reasons for the deadly thunderstorms of 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 issues “nowcasts” in the case of extreme weather warnings with specifics about conditions expected within two 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 hours.

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