March 20, 2019

Hurricane wiped entire Hawaiian island off the map

27 October 2018, 10:59 | Dale Webster

Hawaiian Island erased by one of 2018's many Cat 5 storms

Researchers confirmed East Island in the French Frigate Shoals received significant damage as a result of Hurricane Walaka — a powerful Category 4 storm — roaring over the islands

In addition to the swamped East Island, the aerial survey showed "alterations" to neighbouring Tern Island.

East Island used to be basically sand and gravel dispersed over an area about 1 kilometer [0.6mi] long and 120 meters [390ft] wide.

The island, which is part of the French Frigate Shoals in Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, was expected to disappear but gradually over time.

NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center estimates only one monk seal mother and pup remained on the island when Hurricane Walaka struck.

As it became known, a powerful storm hit on a Hawaiian island and literally washed it in the open ocean. The U.S. government organization confirmed island appeared to be under water following the hurricane in a statement released on Tuesday.

First of all, the disappearance of the island will affect the population blocarii monk seals and green sea turtles, for whom it was a place of permanent habitation.

Bill McKibben, co-founder of, concurred that the island's disappearance is a warning to humanity.

Satellite images taken after the hurricane showed that it has nearly entirely vanished.

"I had a holy sh-t moment, thinking 'Oh my God, it's gone, '" University of Hawaii climate scientist Chip Fletcher told the Honolulu Civil Beat.

When most people think of Hawaii, they think of a series of paradise islands, like the Big Island, Maui, O'ahu, and Kaua'i.

He was the second-largest island in the French-frigate-shoals, the largest Atoll of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Though the small island could one day reappear, it's not likely. Traditionally, the reason for the "jitter" of the earth's axis was considered as the movement of glaciers, but by combining mathematical models of other global processes, which are theoretically able to reject the axis, the researchers found that the reason is not one - three: convection of the mantle matter, the planets, the movement of glaciers and the melting of the global cryosphere caused by climate change. Green sea turtles, which are also threatened, and seabirds such as albatrosses, which often had their young preyed upon by circling tiger sharks, also depended on the island.

Randy Kosaki, deputy superintendent for research and field operations for NOAA at the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, said the inundation of the island can't be directly tied to climate change, according to the Honolulu Civil Beat.

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