KHARTOUM - At least 1,000 families have been affected by flooding in impoverished eastern Sudan, where some communities have been cut off by rising waters, the United Nations said on Saturday.
More than 600 families lost their homes in Wadelhilewe district of Kassala state, while almost 400 others escaped the flooding and sought safety at a refugee camp known as Kilo 26, in the state's Khashm El Girba district, said Felix Ross of the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
"Families have been out in the open for several days," he told AFP. Flood waters prevented the UNHCR from accessing two other villages, Arab 1 and Arab 2 in Khashm El Girba, where a smaller number of people are believed to have been affected, he said.
Flooding was first reported more than a week ago, Ross said. UN agencies have been assisting the government by providing tents, mosquito nets, plastic sheeting, blankets and kitchen sets, he added.
"It's a real disaster," said Khashm El Girba district chief Yahya Mohammed Ahmed.
Thousands of people have lost their homes and access to drinking water, or are cut off by the flood waters, he told AFP, adding that no deaths had been reported so far.
"We expect more rain and more water in the coming days, which will worsen the situation," he said.
In May, Khartoum ordered seven international aid organisations to cease operations in eastern Sudan, saying some projects were badly managed, of poor quality and too costly. The agencies provided healthcare for women and children, demining, water, sanitation and nutrition projects for about 600,000 people, aid agencies said.
A 2006 peace deal ended more than a decade of low-level insurgency in Sudan's east but tensions remain.
Flooding has also affected at least 14,000 people in the Darfur region of western Sudan over the past week, the UN's humanitarian agency said.
The UN body said it also plans to distribute supplementary food to about 77,000 children in the flooded areas.
The government said Saturday that 66 people had been confirmed killed, up from 60 on Friday.
The Philippines endures about 20 major storms or typhoons each rainy season. But this week's rains were the worst to hit Manila since Tropical Storm Ketsana killed 464 people in 2009.