Remote Hawaiian island vanishes following powerful hurricane

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A whole island in Hawaii was wiped out by a powerful hurricane, the Daily Mail reported.

East Island was just over four hectares but was important ecologically.

The team from the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument is expected to survey the effects of the hurricane later in the week.

As it became known, a powerful storm hit on a Hawaiian island and literally washed it in the open ocean.

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

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows before-and-after images of the island, and the difference will shock you.

After the storm, government officials confirmed that the island, in the northwestern part of the Hawaiian archipelago, had been largely submerged by water, said Athline Clark of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

There are just 1,400 Hawaiian monk seals left in the wild, and East Island was where many of them raised their young.

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

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

East Island, Hawaii was almost wiped off the map after Hurricane Walaka, a Category 5 storm, tore through the Pacific Ocean.

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.

East Island is the second island to disappear in recent months from French Frigate Shoals, a crescent-shaped reef including many islets, Clark said.

The same French Frigate Shoals used to serve as the main breeding ground for the seals.

The scientists were in the middle of researching the island, using drones and sand samples to estimate how much longer it could survive due to climate change.

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

"These small, sandy islets are going to really struggle to persist" as the seas rise because of anthropogenic global warming, Charles Littnan, director of NOAA's protected species division, told the Huffington Post.

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