Reports say at least 126 people have been killed in Mozambique, Malawi and South Africa after heavy rains affected 843 000 people across southeast Africa, prompting calls for emergency aid.

At least 66 people have been killed in Mozambique, 56 in Malawi and four in South Africa following torrential rains that have triggered flash floods.

Mozambique cabinet spokeswoman Ana Comoana said the “government has decreed a red alert due to the continuing rains and the approach of the tropical cyclone Idai, expected to reach the country between Thursday and Friday”.

The floods in Mozambique, one of Africa’s poorest countries, have already destroyed 5 756 homes, affecting 15 467 households and 141 325 people.

In neighbouring Malawi, floods have left over 230 000 people without shelter and affected around 739 000 people, according to the United Nations.

Malawi’s Meteorological Department has warned of more rains and flooding in the country’s south between Thursday and Sunday.

In Mozambique, 111 people have been injured, 18 hospitals destroyed, 938 classrooms destroyed and 9 763 students affected.

More than 168 000 hectares of crops were destroyed, the government spokeswoman added.

-Aljazeera