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Millions of dead and rotting fish have washed up in a river near a remote town in the southeastern Australia outback as a heatwave sweeps the region, ABC News reported.
Authorities and scientists said the mass death was caused by floods and hot weather, Aljazeera reported.
Millions of dead fish wash up near Australian townhttps://t.co/n9T8sHfvz2 pic.twitter.com/pS1tF0fnul— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 18, 2023
Videos of the scene at the river showed a blanket of dead fish floating on the surface of the water.
The smell at the small town of Menindee was reportedly foul and horrendous.
Residents are in the midst of cleaning up the area.
On March 17, the New South Wales government said the fish deaths coincided with a heat and wide-scale flooding, and that “millions” of fish had died in the Darling River near the town, in the third mass kill to hit the area in the recent past.
The deaths were likely caused by low oxygen levels as floods recede, a situation made worse by fish needing more oxygen because of the warmer weather, the department said.
Populations of fish such as bony herring and carp had boomed in the river following recent floods, but were now dying off in huge numbers as floodwaters receded.
The incident follows fish deaths in the same area in 2018 and 2019 where up to a million fish died from poor water flow, poor water quality and sudden temperature changes.
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