Powerful Hurricane Irma has pulled enough water into itself to expose the ocean floor in the Bahamas and along the Gulf Coast.
“There is no more ocean…as far as the eye can see,” Kelly Johnson wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. “And they don’t know where it went! Wow …. Irma is more powerful than people think! Be safe guys.” The video shows large swaths of the shore in Long Island in the Bahamas with the ocean floor exposed.
The video shows an individual jumping off a pier onto the nearly dry ocean floor. The ground was scattered with seashells that had been left exposed when the water was suddenly sucked away. Johnson later updated the post saying, “Long Island has the all clear….The sea is gradually coming back! Praise God…”
Twitter users also shared videos and images of the eerie scene:
— Kaydiann Kidd (@Kaydi_K) September 9, 2017
— Adrian (@deejayeasya) September 9, 2017
According to meteorologist Angela Fritz, “Hurricane Irma’s winds are so strong, it’s pulling water away from the shoreline. It happened in the Bahamas on Friday and Saturday.”
“On Saturday, the wind on Long Island in the Bahamas was blowing from southeast to northwest,” she said. “So on the northwest side of the island, water was getting pushed away from the shoreline.”
Fritz explained that some locations are experiencing the hurricane bulge. “In the center of the storm, where the pressure is lowest and the winds are converging, water piles up. Low pressure is basically a sucking mechanism in the sense that it draws the air inward. When the pressure is exceptionally low and the winds are very strong, it can create a bulge of ocean water under the center of the storm.”
It also happened in areas of Florida’s Gulf Coast on Sunday:
— Tim Scheu (@scheuster) September 10, 2017
According to Fritz, the missing water isn’t a sign of an impending tsunami. But she warned people “not venture out onto the dry seabed. You don’t want to be there when the water returns.”