Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

A Hawaiian island has been wiped out by Hurricane Walaka

Hawaiian Island erased by one of 2018's many Cat 5 storms Hurricane swallows Hawaii island whole
Sandra Phillips | 27 October, 2018, 22:55

While the hurricane spared the most populated big islands, East Island and neighboring Tern Island took a beating.

Before Hurricane Walaka swept through the central Pacific this month, East Island was captured in images as an 11-acre sliver of sand that stood out starkly from the turquoise ocean. The Category-3 hurricane created a storm surge that washed over the small slice of land measuring only 121 metres wide. 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.

Professor Fletcher said the Hawaiian green sea turtle relied on East Island for its nesting habitat.

Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, concurred that the island's disappearance is a warning to humanity. The recent satellite images that have been got by the researchers, a lot of necessary changes have been done to the French Frigate Shoals after this terrific storm.

Chip Fletcher, a University of Hawaii climate scientist, told the Honolulu Civil Beat this week he was stunned at the news.

According to media reports, it became known that the North island was the second largest island in the French frigate-shoals is the largest Atoll of the northwestern Hawaiian Islands the total area previously the whole island was as much as 4.5 ha.

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

Charles Littnan, a conservative biologist with NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, said about 96 percent of Hawaiian green sea turtles, a threatened species, travel to the French Frigate Shoals to nest.

Experts believe the remote island will gradually disappear, due to global warming bringing about more tropical storms and rising sea levels.

"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". It was used for breeding monk seals, which are under threat of extinction and rare today of a green turtle.

"The take-home message is climate change is real and it's happening now", NOAA deputy superintendent of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Randy Kosaki told Honolulu Civil Beat.

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