Second cyclone to hit Malawi

There are fears Cyclone Sedza will be far more destructive than Cyclone Bansi.

A general view of water flooding the streets of a township is seen on 12 January, 2015 on the outskirts of Malawian capitol, Blantyre. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Malawi is bracing itself as Cyclone Sedza threatens to bring with it more widespread flooding.

A South African relief aid team is preparing to travel to Malawi next week.

More than a 170 people have been killed while 4,000 people have been rescued.

Rescue SA's Ian Scher says his team is well prepared for any situation.

"The staff are all experienced firefighter paramedic rescuers and they understand harsh conditions. They are expecting a lot more rain so I believe we will have a lot more work to do."

Visit rescue SA's website for more details on how to make a contribution.

Meanwhile relief organisation Gift of the Givers' Imtiaz Sooliman has appealed to South Africans to make contributions to the thousands of people who are now displaced.

"They can make a cash contribution directly or they can visit the website to donate maize, rice, oil, flour, sugar, tea, water, medication, blankets, linen, nets, towels, school uniforms. Everything has been washed away and school has just started."

Scher says they urgently need funds.

"Part of the work in flooding situations like this is moving people trapped on roofs or trees, from high ground to low ground."

Sooliman says they fear cyclone Sedza will be far more destructive than smaller cyclone Bansi.

"The whole country is praying the cyclone dies before it gets close or changes course or goes somewhere else, otherwise we have a serious problem."

Authorities say about 200,000 people have already been displaced.