Friday, March 18, 2011

Tsunami killed thousands of seabirds at Midway

Laysan albatross chick that washed ashore is seen at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge near the Hawaiian Islands.
(AP Photo/US Fish and Wildlife Service, Pete Leary)

In this Febuary 2011 photo provided by the US Geological Survey, a Laysan albatross, roughly 60-years-old, named Wisdom is seen with a chick at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge near Hawaii.

The fate of animals is always an under-reported story in any disaster, especially when the situation is as terrible and catastrophic as it is in Japan.

The suffering of all affected ― the people, their companion animals, wildlife in the country and in the path of the tsunami ― is immense. Hundreds of thousands of people are homeless with the magnitude of this natural disaster still to be fully comprehended. Now, there is the fear of nuclear reactor core meltdown, which some very brave workers are sacrificing their lives to prevent. One thing is certain, Japan will need our help for many years to come.

HONOLULU – Thousands of seabirds were killed when the tsunami generated by last week's massive earthquake off Japan flooded Midway, a remote atoll northwest of the main Hawaiian islands, a federal wildlife official said Tuesday.

At least 1,000 adult and adolescent Laysan albatross were killed, along with thousands of chicks. Many drowned or were buried under debris as waves reaching 5 feet high rolled over the low-lying atoll about four hours after the magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck. Click here to read more.

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