With Friends Like This

…you might as well stay enemies, n’est pas?

A very serious failure occurred on the part of India’s Meteorological Department (IMD) yesterday, when they failed to provide adequate warnings for a devastating tropical cyclone that hit Pakistan. Cyclone 03B, which struck the coast of Pakistan at 02 GMT June 27, has killed at least 17 and left 250,000 homeless in that nation, according to early news reports. Under mandate from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), India is responsible for warning the shores of all nations along the North Indian Ocean, including Pakistan. Cyclone 03B was at least a strong tropical storm when it hit Pakistan, and was probably a Category 1 hurricane. Microwave satellite imagery near the time of landfall (Figure 1) shows a well-developed tropical cyclone with spiral banding and a cloud free eye. Yet IMD never even gave the storm a name, and merely classified it as a a “deep depression,” with winds less than tropical storm force (39 mph). At 00 GMT June 26, two hours before landfall, the position of Cyclone 03B given by IMD was probably in error by at least 60 miles. One hour later, at 01 GMT, with landfall just one hour away, the IMD shipping advisory said that landfall was still 12 hours away. The IMD website, with the warnings, was offline and not available for approximately twelve hours beginning with the landfall period. It’s important not to judge IMD before all the facts are known, but I can’t fathom any excuse that can account for what appears, at best, to be criminal incompetence. I hope the WMO fully investigates this complete failure of India’s Meteorological Department to protect the lives and welfare of those living along the Pakistani coast.

5 Responses to “With Friends Like This”

  1. Mr. Bingley says:

    Some Hindi forecaster just used a Weather of Mass Destruction.

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    And not for nothing, but with all the money that Pakistan spends on their military they must have somebody who can look at a sat image.

  3. DirtCrashr says:

    Despite the recent High Tech veneer that makes India glisten like money to some people, there is still a gargantuan, massive, hugely bloated and ossified-to-rigor-mortis obstructionist bureaucracy that consumes vast amounts of skills resources, and crushes people and careers in it’s demented path like the Juggernaut Carts of old.
    Some babu went out to tea and the slip of paper on which the forecast had been written in pencil and shipped up on a small lacquer tray was splashed with it and rendered unreadable…

  4. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Probable response from India:

  5. John says:

    I was about to say, Mr. B., that with all the unpleasantness over the Kashmir, it boggles the mind that Pakistan would put this kind of power in India’s hands.
    And for everyone who wants to hand over power to the UN – this is the kind of service you get via international treaty.

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