Flooding from the Wabe Shebelle river in southeast Ethiopia has submerged more than 100 villages, regional relief boss Eremdan Haji was quoted as saying by the Ethiopian News Agency.
"Inhabitants in 116 villages in an area covering a 90-km (56-mile) radius have been stranded on hillocks surrounded by the flood water," he said.
"Efforts to rescue hundreds of marooned people have become impossible due to the extent of land covered by the flood."
Some 6,000 head of livestock and 2,500 hectares of crop were destroyed, the official added, saying the government had sent 18,000 tonnes of food aid to the region near Somalia.
Local officials contacted by Reuters said they had no further information but were on their way to the flood area.
(Reporting by Tsegaye Tadesse; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
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