Most everyone has imagined what life on a tropical island might be like. But usually THIS is not part of the daydream.
When the highest point on your island is only 13 feet above sea level, storms in the ocean are a big deal. You don’t even have to be directly in the path of a storm for the waves it kicks up to cause you some serious headaches.
A few minutes of chaos caused damage that will take months to set right.
Roi-Namur Island, part of the Marshall Islands, was recently hit by a series of large rogue waves as a result of a cyclone. Several buildings and some infrastructure were damaged. The airstrip was also covered in debris that needed to be cleared away before clean-up efforts could begin in earnest.
Dramatic footage of rogue waves smashing their way across the island was caught by someone who probably thought everyone was safely away from the storm.
Roi-Namur Island was struck by several substantial waves on Saturday night. It was NOT a tsunami. The powerful waves, driven by cyclonic surges in the open sea, affected the island located in the northern part of the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
— Volcaholic 🌋 (@volcaholic1) January 22, 2024
In a video posted on Facebook, Col. Drew Morgan, commander of US Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll (USAG-KT), said there were only minor injuries from the “unpredicted, gigantic waves” that washed over the north point of the tiny island.
But the US Army report said damage to the island’s infrastructure was extensive.
“Multiple areas on the island are under water,” according to the Army statement, which was posted and accompanied by an aerial photo taken on January 21 that shows extensive flooding on Roi-Namur.
The runway on the island, home to 120 personnel, needed to be cleared so recovery operations could begin, according to the statement from USAG-KT.
The island’s housing, automotive complex, theater and chapel were damaged, it said.
“Operation Roi Recovery could take months to complete,” the Army said. —CNN
Eric Hanson shot the video.
“I saw my friends disappear right in front of my eyes,” Hanson said. “More waves kept coming. Everyone responded to the emergency scenario and thankfully no one was seriously hurt.” — NYPost
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