Thousands of fish in the river have been killed by a sharp drop in water oxygen levels (ELIZONDO)

By Gabriel Elizondo in Manaquiri, Brazil

The once free-flowing Manaquiri River, which runs through the state of Amazonas in northwest Brazil, is in the fight of its life against a spell of dry weather - and it appears to be losing the battle.

Thousands of dead fish are rotting on the river banks and hundreds more float on its surface, turning the area into a toxic cesspool.

Vultures circle overhead, picking away at the rotting carcasses. Even an alligator - one of the fiercest reptiles of the Amazon - floats belly up in the river.

Local fishermen say it has not rained in more than 25 days, leaving the large surrounding rivers in recession. This has in turn choked off the tributaries that provide fresh water to the Manaquiri.

With no fresh water coming in, oxygen levels in the river have dropped, leaving the fish to suffocate to death.

"One week the river water levels dropped, the next week all the fish died," Bruno dos Santos, a fisherman, told Al Jazeera.

"In five days all the fish were dead. We have nothing left, only this ugly water." …

Brazil's river of death via The Oil Drum

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