A cholera outbreak in parts of Mozambique hit by floods has killed 19 people, the government said, raising the death toll from one of the worst disasters to hit southern Africa in years. 

Another 158 people have died in Mozambique in flooding triggered by heavy rains at the start of the year, which also affected Malawi, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

Mozambique's deputy health minister Mouzinho Saide said late on Tuesday that flooded rivers had started to subside in the country's northern and central provinces, easing the plight of some 177,000 people affected by the rain storms.

Neighbor Malawi has said 276 people were killed or are missing as the region counts the human and economic costs of torrential rains. Rivers have burst their banks, flooding vast areas and destroying homes, bridges and crops.