At least 140 people have been killed by a powerful cyclone in Somalia's northern region of Puntland.

The local government declared a state of emergency and called for international aid. Hundreds of people were unaccounted for, it said.

"So far, we have confirmed that the storm killed 140 people," Abdullahi Ahmed, Puntland's interior minister, said.

"We are afraid the death toll may reach 300 because many people are still missing. Roads have been cut and the only access to those areas is by air."

The UN said that 30,000 people had been affected. Survivors are in need of food, water and medical supplies, it said.

"The storm has destroyed entire villages, homes, buildings, and boats," a regional government spokesman added.

The tropical cyclone, known as 03A, lashed the area an inch of rain an hour, Nasa said.More rainfall fell during the storm than in the whole of 2012.

With maximum sustained winds of 64km/h the cyclone brought down phone lines and blocked roads.

The Somali government pledged $1m (£628,000) in help for the communities affected.

Somalia cyclone
The UN said some 30,000 people have been affected by cyclone 03A in Somalia\'s Puntland region (Nasa)
Somalia storm
At least 140 people have been killed by a powerful cyclone that struck Somalia’s northern region of Puntland (Reuters)