Les Neuhaus / AP
Ethiopian trying to remove debris left after a flash flood swept through the Afetesia slum, Monday in the far eastern Ethiopian city of Dire Dawa. More than 200 people are dead and officials estimate up to 300 more are unaccounted for or missing.
updated 8/8/2006 9:39:56 AM ET 2006-08-08T13:39:56

More than 200 people were killed by flash floods Sunday in eastern Ethiopia, an official said.

As many as 10,000 people have been displaced in and around the eastern Ethiopian town of Dire Dawa, after flash floods tore through the town early Sunday, said Sisay Tadesse, spokesman of the government’s Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency.

Heavy rains in Dire Dawa, 186 miles east of the capital, Addis Ababa, swelled nearby rivers beyond their capacity to where they overflowed throu said.

“I saw dead people filling Dilchora Hospital this morning, with family members crying throughout,” resident Mimi Woigido said by telephone Sunday from Dire Dawa. Dilchora Hospital is the main medical facility in the town.

More than 200 homes were destroyed by the floods, which also cut off area highways, leaving travelers stranded, local radio stations reported, citing witnesses and residents.

A team has been sent to Dire Dawa to assess the situation and report back with details, Sisay said. Electricity and telephone outages in the town have made it difficult to get information.

Flash floods killed 32 people in Dire Dawa in May 2005, a month after torrential rains caused massive flooding in other parts of eastern Ethiopia, killing more than 150 people and leaving thousands homeless.

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