Torrential rains spilled a river from its banks in southern Ethiopia, killing at least 125 people as it submerged five villages, knocked down grain silos and swept away cattle, a police official said Monday.

The disaster came a week after 256 people drowned when heavy rains caused flooding in an eastern town. Eight days of rain have made more than 15,000 homeless in this Horn of Africa nation, and U.N. agencies say several hundred people were still missing.

CountryWatch: Ethiopia

Zeleke Menebo, deputy police commissioner for southern Ethiopia, said Monday that the latest deaths occurred Sunday and quoted local as saying the toll could rise.

He said the Omo River burst its banks in the remote Omo Valley in Ethiopia's Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's Regional State. He said the waters flooded five villages, stranding thousands of people and killed 700-800 cattle.

The area is 435 miles south of Addis Ababa, with few roads or telephones to connect it to the rest of the country.

Meanwhile police said the death toll from floods that hit the town of Dire Dawa, 310 miles east of Addis Ababa, on Aug. 6 had climbed to 256. Five people were also killed Wednesday by flooding in northern Ethiopia after heavy rains.