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Officials survey atoll tsunami damage from the air

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    Federal wildlife officials say thousands of seabirds were killed when the tsunami generated by last week's 9.0-magnitude earthquake off Japan flooded Midway. Shown are some of the 70 waterlogged albatrosses rescued from the lagoon at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.


AIR STATION BARBERS POINT, Hawaii >> Federal and state officials have finished a two-day aerial survey of tsunami damage to the marine reserve encompassing a string of atolls northwest of the main Hawaiian islands

Officials from the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument said Monday a six person team surveyed the monument from a Coast Guard C-130 airplane. They assessed damage at Midway Atoll from the ground. 

An estimated 110,000 seabirds perished at Midway when waves generated by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake off Japan flooded the remote atoll on March 11.

Officials will compare images taken during the mission with pervious aerial photos and maps to analyze the extent of the damage. 

They won’t be able to assess damage to coral reefs and underwater habitats until divers visit the areas during a research cruise later this year. 



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