Hawaii residents on alert as Hurricane Lane gathers strength

The hurricane is about 500 miles (804km) south east of Honolulu, the capital.

Hurricane watches and warnings from the National Weather Service were in effect Wednesday for several of the islands, including the Big Island, Maui and Kauai.

"We expect it to gradually weaken as it gets closer to the islands, ' says meteorologist Chevy Chevalier in Honolulu".

Hurricane Lane strengthened to a category 5 storm on Tuesday as it headed toward Hawaii, where residents prepared for "life threatening" winds and flooding when it hits the United States islands this week, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Mount Kilauea began producing lava flows in early May and portions of the southeastern coastline of the Big Island have been transformed by the lava flows that covered over 13 square miles (35 square kilometers). Lane has started turning north, now moving west-northwest at eight knots and expected to turn more north-northwest on Thursday. In Kona, on the Big Island, it cautioned that at least 4 to 8 inches of rain could fall and that winds could exceed tropical-storm force (39 mph).

Only four named storms - two hurricanes and two tropical storms - have made landfall in Hawaii since 1959.

According to Snyder, Mayor Kim said the county is "checking, re-checking and checking again" the island's dry wells, which are receptacles for storm runoff, "to make sure that they're going to do the job, to make sure they're clear of debris".

A hurricane warning was issued for Maui County, which includes Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Kahoolawe islands.

Hurricane Lane is a rare threat for Hawaii becoming the closest Category 5 storm on record to approach Hawaii. Lane is starting to make it's turn tonight towards Hawaii.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Oahu and Kauai County, including the islands of Kauai and Niihau.

"Hurricane Lane is not a well- behaved hurricane", the governor said in his emergency proclamation.

Iniki made landfall on Kauai on September 11, 1992, after making a sharp turn to the north-northeast over the course of the previous two days.

"I remember how very little rain fell".

"But I remember the wind being the strongest force of nature I've ever witnessed and probably the scariest sounds I've ever heard in my life".

Hawaii residents already reeling from months of explosive eruptions from Kilauea volcano braced on Wednesday for Hurricane Lane, which was bearing down on the US island chain with high winds and lashing rains and the potential to trigger flooding and landslides. He said his school held classes in Army tents for months after the storm.

Miranda said his family is used to preparing for hurricane season.

'A lot of people who moved here and never experienced a hurricane. they're the ones rushing to the store, ' he said.

  • Essie Rivera