Travel along the Amazon is suffering severe disruption because the river has hit its lowest level in more than 40 years near its source in north-eastern Peru. Officials in the Peruvian city of Iquitos said the river level had fallen to 14.4ft, a point not seen in more than four decades, and was predicted to drop further. Low levels have brought economic havoc in areas of Peru that depend on the Amazon for shipping, by denying boats a navigable river as well as usable ports and harbours. At least six boats are stranded because of the lack of river flow over the past three weeks and several shipping companies have been forced to suspend service, leading to economic hardship in areas of Peru that depend on the Amazon for shipping. The drop has been caused by a lack of rain and high temperatures.