While the tsunami that crashed into Hawaii did not apparently cause any casualties among humans, it did kill tens of thousands of seabirds, including thousands of albatrosses and other endangered species, at a wildlife sanctuary in the Midway atoll, 1300 miles northwest of Hawaii, according to U.S. wildlife officials.
Thousands of Bonin petrels, a tube-nosed seabird, were also killed as massive waves – some as high as five-foot -- generated by the Japanese earthquake, swept over the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Many were drowned or buried under debris.
The sanctuary is believed to be home to more than 2 million birds, including a Laysan albatross named Wisdom, who, at age 60, is believed to be the oldest known bird in the U.S.
Wisdom survived the tsunami, but at least 1,000 of her fellow Laysan albatrosses died. Tens of thousands of chicks were also killed.
The Midway atoll was developed as a wildlife sanctuary after the US Naval Air facility on Midway Island closed in 1993.