Flash floods in southeast Malawi have left at least 153 people dead and thousands homeless, the government said Wednesday.

The flooding followed freak rainstorms Sunday, regional administrator Stewart Winga told the official Malawi News Agency. He said the death toll was expected to rise.The flood waters, covering an area of about 200 square miles, swept away roads, several bridges and an unspecified number of brick houses and traditional mud-built dwellings about 45 miles southeast of Blantyre.