In a shocking incident, a Hawaiian island has been completely swept off the map after a category 5 hurricane struck Hawaii earlier this month. Called East Island, it was located in an atoll known as the French Frigate Shoals, 885 kilometers from Honolulu.
Measuring just 4.5 hectares, the spit of sand – only half a mile long – was not big by most standards. 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.
Hurricane Walaka, a powerful storm that wreaked havoc in Hawaii early October and caused East island to disappear, has since been downgraded to a category 4, and is continuing to trundle on.