Swallowed up by the waters, like Atlantis. A small sandy island lost in the Pacific and belonging to the american State of Hawaii have disappeared after the passage of hurricane Walaka, at the beginning of October. The discovery was made by a scientist based in Hawaii, on the basis of satellite images, and confirmed by the authorities.

endangered species

The sand bank of East Island is only a few hundred metres in length and belongs to the atoll named “sand of the French Frigate”, a name inherited from the explorer Jean-François de La Pérouse in the Eighteenth century. In the month of July, it had been over, and filmed by a drone.

But after the passage of the storm, there is practically nothing left of this little piece of land, although part of the four-hectare area of origin appears to remain immersed in the water. “The images seem to show alterations to the island of Tern, and the East Island seems to be submerged,” explained the federal authorities of the marine protected area Papahānaumokuākea in a press release Tuesday.

The green turtles of Hawaii, who used this small island to breed, could have large consequences.


The island is not inhabited, but two species of protected animals used for reproduction: monk seals and green turtles from Hawaii. The consequences, for these, threatened with extinction, could be disastrous. “Approximately 96% of the green turtles use the atoll, and about half of them have already used this island” in particular, explained professor Fletchern of the university of Hawaii at ABC News.

A team of federal service for protection of the marine fauna must visit place to try to determine the impact of the disappearance of the sand bank. “I could never have imagined that we could lose major islands in one night, in October 2018,” said the Washington Post Randy Kosaki, research officer for the federal agency managing the marine park. The Honolulu Civil Beat, the climate specialist, university of Hawaii, lamented: “It is a new crack in the network of the ecosystem of the planet.”

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.