Rainstorms lash north-east China, trapping cars, buses in floods

BEIJING (REUTERS) - Heavy rain battered China's north-eastern rust-belt on Thursday (July 7), triggering floods that trapped buses, swamped roads and disrupted commuters in cities, with more storms forecast for coming days.

In Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, its 7.6 million residents were caught off-guard by the unexpectedly heavy rain even though several red alerts, the highest in a four-tier storm warning system, were issued on Wednesday.

Residents woke up to public messages on their mobile phones telling them to delay heading to work and call off any non-essential activities because of "extreme weather".

Staff from the power utility were called out after members of the public reported that a pedestrian had been electrocuted in a pool of water at an intersection.  

Videos clips of the body of a woman being pulled out of water by a road appeared on social media but were later removed.  

Authorities confirmed her death but not the cause.

Traffic police data showed 52 waterlogged sections of roads, 30 of which were closed.

Five students and a driver were marooned in a school bus in one inundated area and had to be saved by rescuers in rubber boats, state television reported.

Since June, China has been grappling with extreme weather from heatwaves to historic floods, with meteorologists blaming climate change and also the first typhoon of the season, Chaba.

In Yanji, a city in Jilin province north of Liaoning, a man was hailed for his bravery on social media after he dived into a raging river to rescue his wife despite not knowing how to swim, footage from state-run Xinhua news agency showed.  

“I swear in my next life, I’ll still marry him,” the wife said in the footage, smiling.  

Over the next 12 hours, flood-swollen rivers were expected to inundate farmland and urban areas in the Jilin cities of Changchun and Siping. 

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.