Ethiopian police say devastating floods in the east of the country have killed at least 200 people and left about 300 others missing.

Rescue workers are continuing to scour the Dire Dawa region Monday after the rain swollen Dechatu river burst its banks overnight Saturday, drowning many as they slept.

Police say the flash floods have destroyed more than 100 homes.

Saturday's surge has affected thousands of people in the area about 500 kilometers east of the capital, Addis Ababa.

Last week, Ethiopia's Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission said floods in the southern Oromia region affected about 15,000 people.

Annual rains often cause flooding in Ethiopia's southern and eastern lowland areas.