Millions of dead and rotting fish have clogged a vast stretch of river near a remote town in the Australian Outback as a searing heatwave sweeps through the region.

Videos posted on social media showed boats ploughing through a blanket of dead fish smothering the water, with the surface barely visible underneath.

The New South Wales government said on Friday (Mar 17) that “millions” of fish had died in the Darling River near the small town of Menindee, in the third mass kill to hit the area since 2018.

“It’s horrific really, there’s dead fish as far as you can see,” Menindee local Graeme McCrabb told AFP.

“It’s surreal to comprehend,” he said, adding that this year’s fish kill appeared to be worse than previous ones.