Hurricane Walaka Wiped This Hawaiian Island Off the Map Overnight

Hurricane Walaka Wiped This Hawaiian Island Off the Map Overnight

East Island, before and after being nailed by Hurricane Walaka.

Fletcher and his colleagues were researching East Island via drone devices and sand and coral samples.

The French Frigate Shoals were in the direct path of Hurricane Walaka earlier this month. Now it's beneath the sea, washed away by a hurricane.

East Island is seen above, nearly completely underwater.

According to researchers, the disappearance of the whole island does not go unnoticed - coming serious consequences.

"I had a 'holy cow!' moment, somewhat in disbelief that it had disappeared", said Chip Fletcher, a professor of earth sciences at the University of Hawaii.

New satellite images released this week showed that East Island, a remote 11-acre stretch of sand that was officially part of the French Frigate Shoals in Hawaii, has disappeared.

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Due to the timing of the category 4 hurricane, most of the turtles are believed to have already left the island by the time the storm came around.

In the statement given, Papahanaumokuakea Marine Monument also said that both of the East Island and Tern have equal importance regarding the nesting grounds for the sea turtles who are threatened and also the pupping grounds for the scarce monk seals. He said that he felt that there would be just one more shrink for this planet to end.

A remote northwestern Hawaiian island has almost vanished after Hurricane Walaka barreled through the Pacific last month, eliminating - at least for now - a critical habitat for endangered species.

"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". In particular, noted climatologist negative effect on the population of monk seals and green sea turtles.

On Facebook, Fletcher called the event a "silent tragedy" for the French Frigate Shoals and the marine life that nested there.

The powerful storm - one of the most intense hurricanes on record to strike the region - hit at the very end of the breeding season.

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.

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