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

(CNN) Millions of dead fish have washed up in a river near a small Australian town, a phenomenon government officials say is linked to the “heat wave conditions” plaguing the country.

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

According to the New South Department of Primary Industries (DPI), “significant quantities” of fish, including carp and bony herring, along with nutrients and organic matter from the floodplain, have been forced back up the river Wales by the warm weather.

“These fish kills are related to low water oxygen (hypoxia) as floodwaters recede,” it said in a statement this week.

“This event is underway like a heat wave … continues to strain a system that has experienced extreme conditions from widespread flooding,” the DPI said.

“The region’s current hot weather also exacerbates hypoxia, as warmer water holds less oxygen than cold water and fish require more oxygen at higher temperatures,” he added.

Heat waves across Australia have become more frequent and intense as climate change worsens and global temperatures continue to rise.

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

The river in Menindee filled with dead fish.

Menindee, a rural town in the far west of the state of New South Wales, has a population of about 500, according to censuses.

Dead fish were also sighted this week in the Macquarie Valley, which is home to 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 region in 2019.

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