A Storm Just Wiped an Entire Hawaiian Island Off the Map
A Storm Just Wiped an Entire Hawaiian Island Off the Map
Hawaiian Island erased by one of 2018's many Cat 5 storms
27 October, 2018, 22:59
In addition to the swamped East Island, the aerial survey showed "alterations" to neighbouring Tern Island.
"It's a really powerful example of the power and potential of nature that overnight an island was washed away", Littnan said. Each year about 200 of the seals visit East Island, and about 30 seals have their pups there, Littnan estimated, noting that there are only about 1,400 of the animals in the world.
The new images revealed the spit now nearly completely submerged.
Chip Fletcher, a professor of earth sciences at the university, toldHonolulu Civil Beat: "I had a holy shit moment, thinking "Oh my God, it's gone". As the hurricane was about to descend on the archipelago, seven researches studying endangered green sea turtles and monk seals were evacuated.
While you've never set foot on the East Island in the French Frigate Shoals, you probably won't ever get the chance to, because of a Category 5 storm that sent this gorgeous strip of land under the ocean. He said that he felt that there would be just one more shrink for this planet to end.
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He added to The Guardian: "We wanted to monitor the island so we are disappointed it has gone, but on the other hand we have learned these islands are far more at risk than we thought".
Called East Island, it was located in an atoll known as the French Frigate Shoals, 885 kilometers (550 miles) from Honolulu.
But it was the second largest island in the atoll, playing host to a US Coast Guard station until 1952 and it was also a key nesting ground for threatened green sea turtles and nursery for monk seals.
The same French Frigate Shoals used to serve as the main breeding ground for the seals.
Thankfully the turtles had already left the area for the season, so weren't hit by the storm, but may face trouble when they return.
Randy Kosaki, a deputy superintendent of research and field operations at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Washington Post that researchers have expected low-lying islands like East Island to vanish under rising sea levels. But climate change is warming the ocean and atmosphere, leading to more powerful and frequent storms.
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