Terrifying footage circulating on social media shows a massive rogue wave hitting a US military base in the Marshall Islands.
The force of the water is immense, ripping doors off their hinges and sweeping people off their feet. Personnel who had enough time to act climbed atop tables to ensure they weren't swept away.
According to San Francisco-based ABC affiliate ABC7, only minor injuries were reported.
The area is extremely vulnerable to climate change-induced sea level rises. Researchers have found a link between global warming and wave-driven flooding that can impact local infrastructure as well as freshwater supplies.
In short, climate change is likely at least partly to blame for the terrifying incident.
The unexpected wave shook personnel at the military base on Roi Namur, the second-largest island of the Kwajalein Atoll in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, to its core.
"Roi Namur island was hit hard by several huge waves Saturday night," local scuba instructor and merchant mariner Erik Hanson wrote in the caption of a video he uploaded to Instagram. "It was a combination of wind, tides, and swell direction. It also was right after low tide at a 1.2 feet tide so could have been worse."
The island is home to the US Space and Missile Defense Command’s Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site.
According to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, 80 of the 120 people who live on the island were evacuated by US Army personnel. The flooding damaged personnel housing, a dining facility, and a theater.
"This is going to go down in Kwaj's history books as one of its most challenging times ever in its 80-year history," said Garrison commander and former NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan in a video statement shared by ABC7. "We will get through this and we're settling in for a marathon of recovery ahead."
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