Sudanese authorities on Tuesday warned residents living near the banks of the Nile in the capital, Khartoum, to take extreme precautions in anticipation of possible flooding caused by heavy rainfall, after more than 70 people were killed in flooding elsewhere in Sudan last week.

Authorities said the water levels of the Blue Nile have exceeded those in 1988 when, after heavy rain, flooding inundated most of the Sudanese capital, killing scores of people and damaging property.

The warning was made by Ballah Abdul-Rahman, a senior official at the Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity, who said water levels of the Blue Nile, which originates in the Ethiopian highlands, were rapidly rising on the Sudanese-Ethiopian border.

The Blue Nile flows downstream to Khartoum, where it meets the less voluminous White Nile before they continue together into Egypt and later the Mediterranean coast.

Interior Minister Ismat Abdul-Rahman said at least 76 people had been killed by late last week as a result of flooding and torrential rain, mostly in central and western Sudan. He said dozens more were likely to have been killed since, but gave no details.

The Sudanese officials said more heavy rainfall was forecast in the next few days.