Rain storms lash China's northeastern rust-belt

BEIJING, July 7 (Reuters) - Heavy rain battered China's northeastern rust-belt on Thursday, 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".

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.

Alerts for flood risks were also issued in Jilin province, north of Liaoning.

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

Water levels might exceed warning levels in seven rivers and some large and medium-sized reservoirs, Jilin's water resources department said.

Liaoning and Jilin are expected to see more heavy downpours in the next two days before the rains start to dissipate.

Reporting by Ella Cao and Ryan Woo; Editing by Robert Birsel

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