(CNN)Heavy rains and flooding battered the eastern coast of South Africa on Wednesday, killing at least 306 people, damaging roads and destroying homes.
The tragedy marked “one of the darkest moments in the history” of the KwaZulu-Natal province, the regional government said in a tweet.
“We join the families in mourning the lives that we have lost as a result of the heavy rains,” the government wrote. “We wish to commend disaster management teams for the tireless work they have been doing to evacuate affected communities.”
The flooding hit KwaZulu-Natal, which includes the coastal city of Durban. Roads cracked and gave way to deep fissures, and a huge stack of shipping containers collapsed into muddy waters, news agency images show.
A bridge near Durban was swept away, leaving people stranded on either side.