Millions of dead fish have washed up in a river near an Australian city

(CNN) Millions of dead fish have washed up in a river near an Australian city in what state officials say is linked to “heat wave conditions” sweeping the country.

Video emerged this week showing masses of dead fish floating in the Menindee Weir reservoir near Broken Hill, CNN affiliate 9News Australia reported.

New South’s Department of Primary Industries (DPI) says “significant numbers” of fish, including carp and herring, as well as nutrients and organic matter from the floodplain, have been forced back into the river by the hot weather. Wales.

“These fish deaths are associated with low water oxygen levels (hypoxia) as floodwaters recede,” it explained in a statement this week.

“This event continues as a heat wave … adding further stress to a system that has experienced extreme conditions due to widespread flooding,” the DPI said.

“The current hot weather in the region is also exacerbating hypoxia because warmer water contains less oxygen than cold water and fish need more oxygen at warmer temperatures,” it added.

Heat waves in Australia have become more common and stronger as climate change worsens and the global temperature continues to rise.

Experts and government agencies have warned that Australia will continue to experience spikes in extreme rain and heat, as well as more dangerous fires.

The Menindee River is full of dead fish.

Menindee, a rural town in the western part of the state of New South Wales, has a population of about 500 according to the census.

Dead fish were also reported this week in the Macquarie Valley, which has both suburbs and a national park.

This was not the first time Menindee residents have witnessed massive fish kills.

Thousands of dead fish were reported in the area in February, and a similar event occurred in the area in 2019.

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