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Eye on system to size up rain

Pedestrians caught in the shower at Esplanade on Thursday afternoon. (Pradip Sanyal)

The last lap of a low-pressure area currently moving towards Calcutta from the Bay of Bengal will determine how much longer heavy rain will lash the city, the weather office said on Thursday.

The system is tipped to move towards Jharkhand on Friday, in which case rainfall in Bengal could subside over the weekend. But if it lingers in the region, brace for heavy rain at least till Sunday.

“A low-pressure area has been bringing rain to Calcutta and other parts of Bengal since Monday night. The system started inching towards land on Wednesday and moved in some more on Thursday, leading to the formation of clouds that caused rain,” said G.C. Debnath, director of the India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.

Under normal circumstances, such systems move towards Jharkhand at this time of the year. “But given the prevailing atmospheric conditions, we cannot be sure which way this one is going to move. It is possible that the system will stay put in Bengal before dissipating,” Debnath said.

The weather office has forecast showers till Friday and some rainfall on Saturday if the system moves away. The grimmer possibility is of rainfall through the weekend if the system sticks to Bengal.

Since Monday, the regional meteorological centre in Alipore has recorded 238.6mm of rain. While this is Calcutta’s official rain count for the period, most places in and around town received more, going by data recorded by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation.

On Thursday, the sky above Calcutta darkened around 2pm after a partly-cloudy-partly-sunny morning and the rain started around an hour later. The heaviest shower was reported at Dhapa on the Bypass, the rain count peaking at 63mm.

Salt Lake received 50mm in about 90 minutes, leading to waterlogging in many parts of the township, including Broadway, and between the Beleghata-Bypass intersection and the Sports Authority of India complex as well as parts of Sector V.

The immediate impact of waterlogging was on public transport in Sector V. Mayank Agarwal, a BPO employee, said a cycle rickshaw he had approached after failing to find a bus, taxi or auto asked for Rs 100 to take him to Karunamoyee from College More at 4.30pm. The rain had stopped by then but College More was submerged.