More than 100 people were killed by flooding Sunday in a town in eastern Ethiopia, a government official said.

As many as 10,000 people fled Dire Dawa and surrounding areas after flash floods tore through the town early Sunday, said Sisay Tadesse, a spokesman for the government-run Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Agency.

Heavy rains in Dire Dawa, 180 miles east of the capital, Addis Ababa, swelled nearby rivers, which overflowed their banks and flooded the town, Sisay said.

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

Witnesses and residents told local radio stations that more than 200 homes were destroyed by the floods. Radio stations also reported that highways in the area had been cut off by the floods, leaving travelers stranded.

The town also has suffered electricity and telephone outages.

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

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