March 10 – 11, 2011 – Midway Tsunami
Posting By Permission of Byron Washom
A tsunami generated by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Honshu Japan struck Midway Island at 11:36 PM on Thursday, March 10th and continued for the next few hours. All 67 Midway residents received approximately 4 hours of advanced warning and successfully implemented its tsunami emergency plan. All essential infrastructure and equipment were secured and all staff, contractors, and visitors evacuated to the third floor of the Charlie Barracks. No one was injured and no major damage occurred to the island’s infrastructure.
Debris washed onto the airfield which caused its temporary closure for less than 24 hours. The tide gauges at Midway recorded three or four waves with the largest measuring just over five feet.
Spit Island completely washed over. Eastern and Sand Island were 60% and 20% washed over, respectively. Thousands of dead fish were found in the interior of Eastern. Two live green turtles were rescued from the middle of Eastern.
NOAA Animation of 2011 Japan Tsunami Propagation