Sudan air-dropped aid on Sunday to thousands of people affected by flooding caused by heavy rains in the Khartoum area, state-linked media reported.

Water 1.5 metres deep (five feet) covered roads in the east of the capital, the official SUNA news agency reported.

Khartoum is surrounded by desert, but the rains late last week turned parts of the city into lakes and drove residents from their homes.

"Khartoum state was delivering aid by air until this morning," said Mohammed Mustafa Al-Sinari, aid commissioner of Khartoum state.

He was quoted by the Sudanese Media Centre, which is close to the security apparatus.

"We supplied them with food and prepared 10,000 tents, medicine and blankets," Sinari said.

Drainage is poor in the capital, where even a little rain can cause flooding.

Other parts of the country have also been inundated.