Westjet cancels Hawaii flights as Hurricane Lane bears down on islands

24 August, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Carmen Reese
  • Hurricane Lane from space

U.S. Navy ships and submarines based in Hawaii were instructed to leave port, a common practice when a hurricane approaches to avoid damage.

The centre of the Category 4 storm was predicted to move close to or over portions of the main islands later Thursday or Friday, bringing unsafe surf of 20 feet and a storm surge of up to 4 feet, forecasters said.

President Trump declared a state of emergency in Hawaii as islanders prepare for Hurricane Lane's arrival.

The storm is less than 300 miles south of Kailua-Kona in Hawaii, coming towards the Pacific islands from the southeast.

The eastern side of the island picked up almost 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) of rain in three hours, while there was light rain in other areas, Foster said. All public schools canceled classes until further notice and many state employees have been asked to stay home.

The last storm to inflict serious damage on Hawaii was 1992's Hurricane Iniki.

There are fears the extreme weather will trigger deadly flooding and landslides as the storm bears down on the islands.

Citing a report from Consul General Joselito Jimeno, the DFA said a hurricane warning was already hoisted in the Big Island (Hawaii Island) and Maui, while a hurricane watch was in effect for Oahu, where Honolulu and Kauai Island are located. The watch indicates hurricane conditions are possible and that winds of at least 39 miles per hour are anticipated in the next two days.

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However, the NWS has said that the storm, which is more than 200 miles (322 kilometers) wide, will cause significant unsafe weather in Hawaii even if it only skirts the state.

Because there's not enough shelter space statewide, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Administrator Tom Travis urged people who were not in flood zones to stay home.

Though may hurricanes lose strength when making landfall, there is great concern that the slow-moving track of the hurricane will cause more harm, even if the hurricane loses a bit of steam on impact. Most areas are expected to see 10 to 20 inches through Sunday, while some could get more than 30 inches.

Hurricane Lane was forecast to continue its northwest turn into the islands Thursday.

The president issued the declaration on Wednesday.

The downpours could also lead to landslides.

"The center of Lane will move very close to or over the main Hawaiian Islands from Thursday through Saturday", the weather service said.

The arrival of the storm's outer bands made the threat seem more real. Conditions could trigger a weakening of Lane in the coming days, but it would still be risky because it's likely to remain a Category 1 cyclone.

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