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Signs of clearer weather today

Calcutta, Sept. 24: The depression over Jharkhand that caused heavy rain and deluge in Calcutta and south Bengal districts weakened today, but only after leaving behind a death toll of 47.

Although the Met office said the sky was expected to remain cloudy tomorrow morning with one or two spells of rain and thundershower, by the end of the day the weather should clear up.

“The depression has weakened into a low pressure and we expect only moderate rain in the next 24 hours in south Bengal districts,” said J.V.M. Naidu, deputy director-general at the Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore.

Naidu, however, warned of heavy rain in north Bengal districts, where eight persons, including a child, were killed and nine injured in mudslides in the Darjeeling hills.

Nine more deaths were reported from Birbhum and Murshidabad, prompting the government to sanction another Rs 17 crore for the 11 flood-affected districts.

“The monsoon is on its way out, but it is still very active in the state,” Naidu said.

Met officials kept their fingers crossed about the weather during the Pujas. “We can expect fair weather during the Pujas only if the Bay of Bengal is free from systems like a low pressure or a depression,” an official said.

Met officials said the cyclone on the Gujarat coast had weakened, following which the authorities withdrew the alert. The officials said it had weakened into a deep depression, which was stationary 280 km southwest of the coast.

After 211.6 mm of rain last Friday, south Bengal saw only some sharp but short showers yesterday and this morning as the formation off the Gujarat coast sucked in moisture from the depression over Jharkhand that was causing the inclement weather here.

Another reason for the weather getting clearer in south Bengal was the weakening depression over Jharkhand. Rainfall recorded in Calcutta was only 14.5 mm in the 24 hours since 8.30 am yesterday.

This morning’s shower was, however, enough to flood several Calcutta roads. The civic body set up a committee to augment the capacity of three pumping stations.

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