Friday, 16 November, 2018

Powerful hurricane completely destroyed a whole island in Hawaii

1 EastIslandFlyBy Drone Pilot Kristian McDonald University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Hawaiian Island Gets Wiped Out by Hurricane Walaka
Doris Mccormick | 27 October, 2018, 22:58

In addition to the swamped East Island, the aerial survey showed "alterations" to neighbouring Tern Island. This hurricane was really powerful and it was the category 4 storm which roared over the islands.

Scientists have confirmed the disappearance of the 11-acre island after comparing satellite images of the surrounding French Frigate Shoals, part of an enormous protected marine area in the north-western Hawaiian Islands.

Rising sea levels are also eroding away low-lying islands, with several fragments of land in the Pacific vanishing in recent years. A third of those used to live and breed on East Island.

Before East Island was erased from the map, it was a critical habitat for endangered Hawaiian monk seals and green sea turtles.

"No one expected East Island to disappear this quickly", Chip Fletcher of the University of Hawaii's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology told Hawaii News Now.

The French Frigate Shoals researchers were monitoring and studying about the green turtles and the monk seals in the mid of October in that Island at the time when Hurricane approached there.

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

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

The island was uninhabited, but scientists are anxious because it was a refuge for two of the most endangered animals in the world: the Hawaiian green sea turtle and the Hawaiian monk seal. 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. But climate change is warming the ocean and atmosphere, leading to more powerful and frequent storms.

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.

Fletcher said, 'It's one more chink in the wall of the network of ecosystem diversity on this planet that is being dismantled'.

Randy Kosaki, the monument's deputy superintendent for research and field operations for NOAA, told Honolulu CB: "The take home message is climate change is real and it's happening now".

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