On January 20, 2024, the U.S. Army base on Roi-Namur in the Marshall Islands experienced catastrophic flooding from a series of massive waves driven by weather conditions. This unexpected natural disaster caused significant damage to the base’s infrastructure and led to the evacuation of all non-mission personnel.
Roi-Namur, part of the Kwajalein Atoll, is home to some of the Reagan Ballistic Missile Test Site’s most sophisticated missile and space tracking equipment, including the ALTAIR Radar. This event significantly impacted vital facilities. The flooding overran the northwest side of the island, affecting at least one-third of it and leading to water damage in several buildings, including the Tradewinds Theater, the Army store, and the automotive warehouse area.
The incident was captured on video, showing a wave smashing into the Outrigger Bar on the base, with water surging into the building and causing people to scramble for safety. While there were minor injuries reported, no fatalities occurred. The video highlights the power and suddenness of the wave’s impact.
Additionally, the nearby islands within the Kwajalein Atoll were affected, with wave swells causing serious flooding on islands in the Ailinglaplap Atoll, disrupting air services due to debris on airfields. The small island of Santo, close to Roi-Namur, was remarkably unaffected.
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