In the last month alone, Hawaii residents have been inundated with news about hurricanes brewing in the Pacific, rising sea levels, and the risk that Hawaii could be hit by a tsunami. I guess it is safe to say that Hawaii is quite unique in the potential disasters we face. Here are nine ways Hawaii might be utterly devastated – and perhaps even wiped off the map completely.
1) Hawaii could be utterly destroyed by a hurricane.
Though no one would ever know, because apparently a Category 1 hurricane potentially hitting Florida is more newsworthy than three hurricanes within a few hundred miles of the islands at one time. Seriously, this happened a few months ago, and it was weird.
2) Flash floods could devastate the islands.
Even if a hurricane never hits Hawaii, the outstanding amounts of rain brought to the islands can cause flash flooding, as well as increased erosion, and problems with Hawaii’s electricity and power.
3) Tourists could decide that they – gasp – don’t like beaches anymore.
Not saying that’s going to happen, but because much of the Hawaiian economy is based on tourism, Hawaii would struggle without the tourism industry, and the money it pumps into the local economy in terms of jobs and money spent.
4) A tsunami could destroy cities and homes.
Though the last tsunami that actually hit the Hawaiian Islands occurred on April 1, 1946, it is still a big risk, as evidenced by the tsunami watch – and later advisory – in Hawaii after September’s Chilean earthquake.
5) Hawaii could be swallowed by the sea.
The tectonic plates beneath the ocean’s surface could move just enough for Hawaii to sink entirely into the Pacific. This idea has been floating around for years, though a study by Brigham Young University has also found that Hawaii’s own groundwater has been slowly dissolving the islands, and could be the culprit of Hawaii’s ultimate demise – in approximately 1.5 million years.
6) Rising Sea Levels
Rising sea levels due to melting ice in Greenland and Antartica, among others, could cause major problems for Hawaiian cities – specifically the state’s capitol, Honolulu, which sits at a mere meter above sea level.
7) A landslide could knock out many houses in Hawaii.
While not all landslides within Hawaii are catastrophic, it is possible that a giant landslide could wipe out one of the Hawaiian Islands, and cause devastation across the state. In fact, geologists have studied a 12-mile wide section of the Hawaiian mountainside that is slowly moving into the ocean, and have made the claim that if Kilauea Volcano were to slide into the sea, a massive tsunami could rock the entire Pacific.
8) The United States Military could decide that maintaining bases in Hawaii is no longer important.
Oahu alone has more than ten military installations, and without those service members and their families stimulating the economy, Hawaii could take a big hit.
9) A massive volcanic eruption floods Hawaii with lava.
Yes, we know that Kilauea is still currently erupting, and has been since 1986 – one of the longest known active volcanic eruptions in the world. Luckily, that’s not affecting us too much, but there’s no telling when the eruption could get worse, or when one of Hawaii’s four other active volcanoes could blow.